In the fall of 2016, OAC Dean Rene Van Acker began the process of developing a new strategic plan for the Ontario Agricultural College. Following the release of the University of Guelph’s Strategic Framework, this is an ideal time to map out OAC’s plan for the next five years. The outcome of this process will be a document to guide how OAC staff, faculty and students reflect on and use the University’s Strategic Framework for clear areas of action. Learn more about OAC's strategic planning process here.
140 Faces of OAC
In 2014 to celebrate the Ontario Agricultural College's 140th anniversary, we compiled a listing of 140 people from OAC's past and present community. The project was created in hopes of capturing the diversity of people who make up the identity of OAC and its 140-year-long history. Featuring OAC staff, faculty, students and alumni the list showcases the types of individuals that create the character and uniqueness of OAC. View the 140 Faces of OAC project.
The Food Institute
Building on more than 150 years of tradition, the Food Institute of the University of Guelph connects food research and expertise across all fields of study with Canadian and global partners to support sustainability, economic growth, and security in the food supply chain from fork to field. Learn more about the Food Institute.
The University of Guelph Food Laureate is Anita Stewart. Anita is an expert on food and Canadian cuisine and serves as the University’s honorary food ambassador. As Food Laureate, she promotes the University of Guelph’s culinary contributions to Canada by refining the food inventory, developing public awareness campaigns, organizing events and strengthening connections between producers and consumers.
Anita has an impressive résumé. She founded Cuisine Canada to promote the growth and study of Canadian food culture and was the first Canadian to earn a master of arts in gastronomy. She has authored or co-authored 14 books on Canadian foods and wines that include many U of G examples. Anita also created Food Day Canada, a national event that evolved from her World’s Longest Barbecue in 2003 intended to support Canadian farmers after that year’s BSE crisis. In 2012, she was appointed to the Order of Canada. She also helped the University of Guelph launch the Good Food Innovation Awards in 2010 to recognize restaurants showing culinary creativity with local ingredients.
H.R. MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture
This award of $10,000 was made by the University of Guelph every five years to the Canadian who was judged to have made the most significant contribution to agriculture in Canada during the preceding five years. The award was established by the late H.R. MacMillan of Vancouver, British Columbia, a 1906 graduate of OAC – the Ontario Agricultural College. Designed to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of OAC, the award was announced in 1964 and first presented in 1969. 2014 marked the tenth and final presentation of this award. Nominations were assessed by a national panel of judges selected by the University of Guelph. Award recipients were presented with a medal designed by Erich Barth.
1969 - J.M. Bell, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
1974 - G.R. McLaughlin, Beaverton, Ontario
1979 - B.R. Stefansson and F.W. Hougen, Winnipeg, Manitoba
1984 - C.H. Bigland, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
1989 - Hon. H.O. Sparrow, North Battleford, Saskatchewan
1994 - Ernest A. Kerr, Simcoe, Ontario
1999 - Robert Chicione, Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec
2004 - Peter Hannam, Guelph, Ontario
2009 - Maurice Edward (Ted) Bilyea, Toronto, Ontario
2014 - Tim McAllister, Lethbridge, Alberta
Planning for Tomorrow Survey
A survey commissioned by OAC in 2011 revealed a large gap between the supply of OAC graduates and employer demand. The Planning for Tomorrow for OAC: Input From Industry survey was conducted by JRG Consulting Group was released in early 2012 and found that industry demand far exceeded the supply of post-secondary graduates in agri-food in Ontario. Survey respondents also expected a 10- to 20-per-cent increase in the number of new hires directly from university in the coming years. Read the full Planning for Tomorrow survey.