AIC Logo EnglishAIC Monthly Report

May 2012

In This Issue
AIC Joint Conference - Plan to Attend!
International Program Update
Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald Honoured
Survey Winner and Scientific Journals News
Roy Berg, FAIC, 1927-2012

2012 AGM logos  

AIC Joint Conference - Plan to Attend!


The AIC - CSA - CSHS - CCA annual meetings and conference will take place July 16-19, 2012 at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. The themes of the conference plenary sessions on Tuesday, July 18 are "Adapting Crops to Change" and "Technology Transfer in the 21st Century," with distinguished presenters including Thomas Sinclair, Ron De Pauw and Henry Janzen.


AIC International Program Coordinator Tom Beach will be making a presentation during the conference on Global Scientific Collaboration on Technology Transfer to Increase Food Security, drawing on examples from AIC's highly successful international partnership program which ran from 2006-2011.


The AIC AGM takes place immediately following the conference sessions on Tuesday. There is no charge for attending only the AGM, and refreshments will be provided.


Early bird registration for the conference ends tomorrow! You can register online at this link.  


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International Program Update 


Vietnam The federal government's recent budget cuts affected many departments, among them CIDA. Staff is being reduced and programs adjusted. The overall impact these changes will have is still unknown, but there are clear indications that the department will not be soliciting new project proposals before this fall. This delay is a disappointment, but efforts continue on a number of other fronts to ensure AIC's continued involvement in international development.


We have researched other funding sources for international projects in both the public and private sector and have explored several offers to work with other Canadian non-government organizations (NGOs) on project funding proposals. To date these have not been in accord with AIC's vision or we have discovered that we were not an eligible partner.  


However, communications with these and other NGOs in the past months has increased their awareness of the skills and expertise possessed by AIC members. It has led us to begin working on a business plan for subcontracting agricultural expertise to other organizations for their international projects. This concept would provide ongoing opportunities for our members, address agricultural needs in Canadian-led development, and bring in revenue to AIC.


We have made a specific project proposal to an NGO working in Tanzania after approaching them about working with AIC's partners in countries where they have CIDA-funded projects. AIC association members are working with us to develop a project proposal for IDRC with a focus on late blight in potato in Nepal. Canadian Society of Soil Science members supported a member of the Vietnam Society of Soil Science in submitting a concept to IDRC for research on the change in coastal soils due to climate change.


Another opportunity we are working on is an internship program which would place young Canadian graduates with AIC's overseas partners to gain international development experience and skills. The internship program is administered by CIDA but funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. 


We appreciate the continuing interest and support of AIC members for our international program and hope to have good news to share with you soon.


Tom Beach, International Program Coordinator 


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Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald Honoured 


Mary Ruth McDonaldCongratulations to AIC member Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald who has been recognized with two prestigious awards. On March 29, 2012 she received the T.R. Hilliard Distinguished Agricultural Extension Award from the Ontario Agricultural College Alumni Foundation. The award, which recognizes people who are making significant contributions to agricultural extension in the province of Ontario, was presented at the 61st annual Muck Vegetable Growers Conference. 


On March 30, 2012 Dr. McDonald received the Distinguished Agrologist Award from the Ontario Institute of Agrologists during their Annual General Meeting. The award recognizes individuals who have rendered significant service to the profession of agrology and the agri-food industry of Ontario and/or the affairs of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists. 


MRM brownDr. McDonald works as a faculty member and research scientist at the University of Guelph's Department of Plant Agriculture. Her research focuses on crop protection of root, bulb and leafy vegetable crops and crucifer crops with emphasis on plant pathology and integrated crop management. She is also the Research Trial Coordinator at the Muck Crops Research Station located in the Bradford/ Holland Marsh of Ontario. Her academic background includes a B.Sc. (Agr.) with a major in Plant Protection, an M.Sc. in Plant Pathology and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, all from the University of Guelph.


Dr. McDonald is a member of AIC and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science as well as being President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society. She has been a member of the CSHS international twinning partnership project coordination committee with the Ghana Institute for Horticulturists and AIC since 2006. This project was the 2011 recipient of the AIC International Recognition Award.


The T.R. Hilliard Distinguished Agricultural Extension Award was first awarded in 1983. Dr. McDonald joins 25 men and three women who have received the annual award.  It was established in memory of the late T. R. (Dick) Hilliard, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food and consists of a citation and $1,000. Previous winners of this unique and coveted award include some of the best known names in Ontario agriculture. Recipients are selected from nominations submitted to the Foundation.


Upon learning that her colleagues in the Ghana Institute for Horticulturists must financially support their research work with personal funds, Dr. McDonald graciously decided to donate her financial award to support horticultural research in Ghana.


Dinah Ceplis and Frances Rodenburg



University of Guelph

T.R. Hilliard Distinguished Agricultural Extension Award

Ontario Institute of Agrologists


Photo: Dr. Clarence Swanton, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, presents the T.R. Hilliard Award to Dr. McDonald. 

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Survey Winner and Scientific Journals News 


AIC Membership Draw Winner


Congratulations to Edmund (Eddie) Sottie, a PhD student at the University of Lethbridge, who won a free one year membership in AIC in a random draw of respondents to our survey of ag science professionals. Eddie is a native of Ghana, where he completed his MPhil in Animal Science/Nutrition from the University of Ghana. He is now working on his PhD studying development of high performance grazing system in semi-arid environments. Eddie is a member of the Canadian Society of Animal Science.



Scientific Journals


The complete issues of the Canadian Journal of Soil Science and the Canadian Journal of Animal Science (June 2012) are available online. "E-first" articles (articles released online ahead of print) for the July issue of the Canadian Journal of Plant Science and a CJPS special issue can be viewed here.  


We are happy to advise mobile device users that we are in the process of developing an app through Literatum for Mobile that will allow you to access the journals on the go. Morgan Stanley projects that the population of mobile Internet users will overtake desktop Internet users by 2014 as both categories exceed 1.6 billion users worldwide. The use of mobile Internet devices is growing at a faster rate than desktop Internet usage grew with AOL and Netscape ten years ago. For more information visit this site


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Roy Berg, FAIC, 1927-2012


Roy Torgny Berg, former Professor, Chairman of the Department of Animal Science and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry at the University of Alberta, passed away on May 8, 2012. Dr. Berg was renowned for his innovative research into cross-breeding of cattle, helping make Alberta a world leader in beef production.


His work was recognized with many awards, including Fellow of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and induction into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame. He was named a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada in 1976.


An obituary can be read here.


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Frances Rodenburg, Editor