An historic event saw three accomplished and outstanding Canadian women inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame at a special awards banquet on November 30, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta. The 2017 inductees are Robynne Anderson, Patty Jones and Jean Szkotnicki.
“We are so proud as an organization to be recognizing these three extraordinary women for their contributions to the Canadian agriculture industry, and the contributions we know they will continue to make,” says Guy Charbonneau, President of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association. “They are all trailblazers and focused their professional passion for our industry by leaving a lasting legacy in publishing and consulting, livestock photography and animal health.”
Nominated by Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, Canadian Seed Trade Association, SeCan and Stokes Seeds
Robynne is a visionary leader and facilitator of change. She’s dedicated her professional career to supporting, promoting and advancing the Canadian seed industry on many fronts in Canada and internationally. She was raised on a family seed farm in Manitoba, and began her career in agricultural advocacy in the political arena, working on legislation impacting the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act.
She worked extensively with the Canadian Seed Trade Association after launching Issues Ink, an agricultural publishing and consulting company that created agricultural publications including Germination, Seed World, Spud Smart, Flavourful and CAAR Communicator. In 2010, Robynne started Emerging Ag, a consulting firm to the agricultural sector. Her contributions to Canadian agriculture are extensive and diverse – including the push for identity preservation through the food production chain and as a media commentator on the seed, biotech, crop protection and fertilizer sectors. Her issues management work reaches throughout the value chain working with farmers, food processors, scientists and government.
On the international stage, Robynne founded Farming First, an international coalition of farmers, industry, civil society and academia that has become the leading voice for global agricultural advocacy. She helped make the UN’s 2016 International Year of Pulses a reality, built the International Agri-Food Network and co-founded a non-profit organization that supports orphans to learn agricultural skills through schools in Zambia.
Nominated by Semex
As photographer to the bovine stars, Patty Jones’ photographs have changed the way animals are marketed in Canada and around the world. Over the past 44 years, Patty has taken more than 65,000 photographs as the owner and operator of the largest livestock photography business in Canada – Canadian Livestock Photography Inc.
Patty’s photographs have made an immeasurable contribution to the Canadian dairy industry, bringing genetics to life to help breeders market cow families and breeding stock. The Canadian artificial insemination industry has used her bull and daughter pictures of proven sires as an effective marketing tool for the global frozen semen market. She’s created a priceless visual history of breed improvements in Canadian dairy cattle.
Patty’s style, skill and patience creates the perfect picture every time, and her signature on a photograph is synonymous with success. She’s photographed cattle around the world, captured champions of every dairy breed at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and provided photography at national, provincial and regional 4-H shows.
Patty received the highest honour from Holstein Canada in 2012 with its Certificate of Superior Accomplishment for her outstanding business achievements, mentorship, leadership and promotion of the Holstein breed. She is a long time contributor to the Ontario Dairy Youth Trust Fund. Patty’s passion for the industry goes beyond photography – she is the owner of Silvercap Holsteins that buys, sells, shows and breeds Holstein and Jersey cattle.
Nominated by Byron Beeler and Canadian Animal Health Institute
Jean’s unique brand of quiet determination has delivered tremendous leadership to the Canadian animal health industry. For more than 25 years, Jean has led the Canadian Animal Health Institute by skillfully balancing the responsibility of advocating for veterinary pharmaceutical companies with the needs of the veterinarians, livestock producers and public.
One of Jean’s major achievements for Canadian agriculture was closing abused legislative loopholes that permitted importation and use of veterinary pharmaceuticals through Own Use Import and use of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients politics that allowed large quantities of non-Health Canada licensed medications to be imported and used in Canada. Her persistence over more than two decades ultimately brought together all stakeholders, including farmers, industry, veterinarians and regulators.
Jean is an international champion for antimicrobial resistance – an issue of major concern to agriculture that impacts the use of antibiotics in farm and companion animals. She’s been instrumental in ensuring antimicrobials are used properly as part of a One Health approach to human and animal antibiotic use in Canada.
Jean’s passion for public trust in Canadian agriculture guides her work on numerous industry boards including the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity and the Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph. An articulate problem solver, Jean has earned the trust and respect of government regulators in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association (CAHFA) honours and celebrates Canadians for outstanding contributions to the agriculture and food industry. Portraits are on display in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Gallery located at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The CAHFA also publicizes the importance of inductee achievements to Canada. The Association was organized in 1960 and is administered by 12 volunteer Board of Directors located across Canada.