The 2012 FCC Rosemary Davis Award Winners
Martine Bourgeois – an agrologist, egg producer and poultry industry leader from Saint-Ours, Quebec
Martine Bourgeois is a shareholder and vice-president of Ferme St-Ours Inc., a farming operation involved in producing table eggs (142,000 hens), hatching eggs (45,000 hens), field crops (750 acres) and organic maple syrup (5,700 tapholes). She is the proud mother of four and recently welcomed a new addition to her family farm—an organic sunflower seed oil.
With a degree from McGill University and certification as an agrologist, she acquired the family farm with her husband and sister in 1993. She has been working for Shur-Gain, which is owned by the multinational company Nutreco, for nearly 30 years and is now the Director of Poultry Nutrition and Development. She is also a member of Nutreco Canada’s national poultry council, which sets directions for poultry nutrition and research. She holds regular discussions with research teams in Canada, Spain and the Netherlands for her work, thus contributing to the transfer of new poultry nutrition technologies to Canada.
A member of the steering committee for the “poultry rendezvous” hosted by AQINAC (Quebec association of animal nutrition and grain industries) since 2006 and president since 2010, Ms. Bourgeois is also an examiner for admission of new members to the Quebec order of agrologists (OAQ) and sits on various committees of the OAQ and the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC). She was also on the organizing committee for the 2000 World Poultry Congress in Montreal and has been involved in writing and editing reference books on poultry production for CRAAQ (Quebec agriculture and agri-food reference centre).
Ms. Bourgeois is a pioneer in the Canadian agriculture industry. Over her career, she has successfully applied a number of innovative ideas in poultry nutrition. She was one of the first to get involved in developing niche market and specialty products (plant-based chicken feed, omega-3 fatty acid-enriched eggs, organic eggs, chickens raised without antimicrobial agents and most recently, omega-3 enriched organic eggs).
Following in the footsteps of her paternal grandparents, she won an award in 2010 that they earned in 1951: the high honour of Commander of the National Order of Agricultural Merit of Quebec and its Gold Medal.
Katherine Elaine Buckley – a research scientist, green champion and educator from Brandon, Manitoba
Raised in Alberta on a livestock farm, Katherine Elaine Buckley champions research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on the sustainability of livestock and cropping industries.
A passion for a better understanding of the complexities of interaction of soil, plants and livestock led to a 27-year career in agricultural research. She has identified and relentlessly championed the incorporation of environmental actions that have led to ongoing improvements in farm practices to protect soil and water resources, enhance crop production and fully use available resources for ever-better farm viability and sustainability.
As someone dedicated to life-long learning, she is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba where she supervises and advises graduate students. Katherine also presents seminars for students and agricultural producer groups and conducts training workshops for farmers and provincial specialists in basic and advance composting technologies.
She has been a member of numerous organizations, including the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the British Columbia Institute of Agrologists, the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists, the Canadian Society of Agronomy and The Canadian Society of Horticulture. She is actively involved with Livestock Producers, both in Manitoba and across Canada, through their associations as well as individual farms. She has been very active with The Compost Council of Canada, volunteering her time and talents to enable the organization to conduct regional and national conferences as well as technical training.
Katherine has been recognized for research and leadership in environmental stewardship by Manitoba Pork Council, Composting Council of Canada, Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council and Solid Waste Association of North America. She is also actively involved in community outreach to educate the urban community on soil improvement, the benefits of composting organics and the use of organics in vegetable gardening.
Volunteering is important to her and she successfully developed a community garden network where over 200 families benefit from her vegetable-gardening-in-raised-beds advocacy.
Katherine's determination and leadership has helped raise awareness leading to the incorporation of residual resource management on the farm for improvements to the environment. She has found the means to convince farmers to incorporate better residuals management programs to improve their environmental impact on soil, air and water resources as well as longer term financial viability.
Betty Lou Scott – a cattle producer, 4-H leader and volunteer from Mount Thom, Nova Scotia
Betty Lou Scott is the co-owner of WindCrest Farm, an Angus breeding stock operation in Nova Scotia. The 310-acre cattle operation has had as many as 90 head of purebred Angus cattle.
Betty retired after 35 years of teaching and has been a full time farmer since 1997. She is a constant on the agricultural scene in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, dedicating 33 years of volunteering to the local 4-H club in Salt Springs, long surpassing the involvement of her own children. She’s served in nearly all the leadership positions within the organization that supports youth including Executive at the County level.
For nearly as many years, she has also taken on the task of serving on the boards of directors for local, provincial and Maritime agriculture exhibitions. Year over year, she has spent thousands of hours planning and organizing these events, helping in any way she can. This includes multiple offers to lend her own animals and expertise for 4-H participants to show, on top of overseeing the management portions of such events.
More recently she has further shown herself as a remarkable asset to the agricultural world through her work with the national Angus Association. Having organized and managed a national conference in 2010, she has proven herself capable of any task that comes her way. Very active in the agriculture industry, she was the Maritime Fall Fair chairperson for nine years, the Beef Show coordinator for 12 years and a member of the Nova Scotia Aberdeen Angus Association board for 23 years. The Canadian Angus Association Foundation also benefited from her services for 15 years.
In 2008, Betty Lou won the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions Distinguished Service Award. She was also recognized as the Provincial Volunteer of the Year in 1991 and received the Nova Scotia Medal for Outstanding Leadership in 2008.
Betty Lou’s undeniable spunk and enthusiasm has left a remarkable impression on an entire generation of 4-H club members in the community, in addition to those who attend the exhibitions each year.
Judy Shaw – an agriculture industry leader, communicator and visionary from Guelph, Ontario
Judy Shaw heads Corporate and Government Affairs for Syngenta Canada, an agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture – farming with future generations in mind.
Judy joined Syngenta in 1978 following graduation from the University of Guelph, Ontario Agricultural College. Since then, she has been involved in regulatory affairs, government policy and public affairs for Syngenta and its legacy companies.
In this role, Judy works closely with the Federal and Provincial governments and grower associations on projects that promote agriculture sustainability and stewardship in Canada. She has developed partnerships with Ducks Unlimited Canada and Fondation de la faune du Québec in the restoration of wetlands and riparian strips along with the establishment of more than 20 annual scholarships in sustainable agriculture at Canadian Universities.
From 1984 to 1990, Judy worked at the Global Syngenta Head Office in Basel, Switzerland on the new product development team. She returned to Canada to take on the role of managing the Regulatory Affairs and Environmental Studies.
Judy’s passion for agriculture has built several Syngenta initiatives, including the philanthropic Giving Back to Agriculture® program, which focuses on supporting agricultural leadership in Canada as well as sustainable agriculture and hunger issues; the annual 4-H Arbor Awards for volunteer recognition; and Leadership At Its Best® – a development program for grower association board members to enhance their leadership abilities.
Judy is the Chair of the Canadian Business and Biodiversity Council, Past President of the Canadian 4-H Council, past chair of the Pest Management Centre Risk Reduction and Minor Use Programs Advisory Committee, and is the Vice President of the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame. She serves on many value chain steering committees focused on sustainable agriculture including the National Food Strategy and the Canadian Agriculture Sustainability Dialogue.
Bonnie Spragg – a hog producer, food processor and rural developer from Rosemary, Alberta
Bonnie Spragg – a hog producer, food processor and rural developer from Rosemary, Alberta
Bonnie Spragg owns and manages a 280 acre mixed farming operation. For the past 10 years, she has been building and implementing a business plan that has seen her farm operation raise pigs on pasture, process those hogs through Spragg's Meat Shop and direct market her free range pork product.
Raised on a farm, Bonnie completed a B.Sc. in Agriculture and a M.Sc. in Managing Rural Change. She has managed the Brooks Farmers Market and seen that market grow into a viable enterprise. The Brooks Farmers Market has grown from 4-5 vendors/50 customers to 30 vendors/1000 customers under her management.
Bonnie is currently chair of the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund which promotes and funds agricultural crop research to benefit Alberta-based agriculture in the future.
An active 4-H member for 10 years, she was also director and chairperson for Irrigated Alfalfa Seed Producers for six years. She currently sits as a director on two local agricultural societies and has helped to maintain local events including a large Canada Day celebration in Rosemary.
Her agricultural processing facility, Spragg's Meat Shop, is the largest employer in Rosemary, employing seven in the community and four additional people in Calgary. Bonnie has been one of the pioneers in promoting rural development, and exploring agricultural based processing operations as well as direct marketing of agricultural products to retail consumers.
Bonnie says it was a choice to stay in rural Alberta to raise her family and to create an economic enterprise. “I have taken on risks to build something new and in the process brought new hope to a small rural community.”