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Media Release: Two U of S researchers recognized by Agricultural Institute of Canada

University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researchers Jeff Schoenau and Phil Thacker have been honoured by the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC), the national organization that promotes and advocates for agricultural research in Canada and internationally.

“These two individuals are great examples of what is possible when Canadian scientists truly excel in their field,” said Lianne Dwyer, chair of AIC.  “Both are leaders, and on behalf of Canada’s agricultural sector, I offer my profound congratulations.”

Schoenau, a long-time soil science professor and Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Research Chair, has been named a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the AIC’s highest honour.  The award recognizes an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to Canadian agriculture by helping to build scientific capacity for societal good, integration and collaboration between disciplines and sectors, and communications.

Schoenau’s distinguished career promoting sustainable agronomy and nutrient management includes the development in 1992 of the patented Plant Root Simulator technology for quantifying soil fertility rates and use in soil testing for fertilizer recommendations.  This technology, which can track the intake of nutrients from the soil, is licensed to Saskatoon-based Western Ag Innovations and has been used in research projects around the world. Schoenau and the firm were awarded the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation.

The AIC’s International Recognition Award recognizes individuals or organizations who have made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of agriculture in the developing world.

Thacker, a professor emeritus of animal and poultry science, is being honoured with this award for his outstanding contribution to international activities in China over the past 20 years, including playing a major role in the development of the Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre in Beijing.  For his work at the centre, he has received numerous awards including the “2004 Friendship Award,” the highest award presented by the Chinese government to foreign experts.

“Agricultural research is key to global food security, and we are proud that these two outstanding U of S researchers in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources have been recognized by their peers for their stellar contributions to improving agriculture both in Canada and internationally,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president of research.

About AIC

Created in 1920, the Agricultural Institute of Canada is a centre of knowledge for science in agriculture. Its mandate is to advocate on behalf of agricultural research, disseminate information on agricultural research, promote careers in agricultural research and create international linkages.
Visit for more information.  Follow us on Twitter: @aginstitute

About the University of Saskatchewan

“Agriculture: Food and Bioproducts for a Sustainable Future” is a signature area of U of S research:
– Working with partners in producer groups, government and industry, the College of Agriculture and Bioresources is a leader in agricultural education and research to help communities achieve greater prosperity.
– The Global Institute for Food Security at the U of S helps deliver transformative innovation to agriculture in both the developed and developing world.

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For more information, or to schedule an interview:

Kristin Baldwin
(613) 232-9459 ex 304

James Shewaga
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-1851
(306) 270-5583

Click here to view the full press release.