Class of ‘99
Young Alumni Achievement Award 2015
Alumnus Cedric MacLeod lives and breathes agriculture. Anyone who has worked with him can tell you that he pours his heart and soul into his 105-acre beef operation, Local Valley Beef, from which he provides local, sustainable and healthy beef to hundreds of New Brunswick residents each year. However, it is his commitment to the success and sustainability of the industry and his fellow farmers that truly sets him apart.
Although he wasn’t raised on a traditional farm, Cedric loved animals from an early age and opted to attend Nova Scotia Agricultural College to take pre-veterinary medicine after graduating from high school. However, his first-year introductory agriculture course set him on a completely different path. After attending a lecture on soil erosion, Cedric realized agronomy was where he needed to be. He set his sights on soil conservation and soil health.
Cedric went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Soil Science from the University of Manitoba, graduating in 2002. After a three and a half year stint in Ottawa with the Canadian Pork Council, Cedric returned home to New Brunswick, where he established both his farming operation, Local Valley Beef, and his agri-environmental consulting business, MacLeod Agronomics.
MacLeod Agronomics specializes in the analysis and integration of sustainable agricultural practices for the Canadian agricultural sector. Cedric works one-on-one with producers, focusing on greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy projects. His goal? To decrease the environmental footprint of Canadian agriculture, at a profit to its farmers.
Cedric very much practices what he preaches, using sustainable production methods and renewable technologies on his beef farm. A few years ago, Cedric installed a deep-well and solar powered pumping system for his cattle, allowing the animals to have unrestricted access to clean drinking water at all times. This watering system means cattle can be kept on pasture year-round, minimizing the need for large equipment, feed storage and energy-intensive fertilizer inputs.
Cedric works tirelessly to increase awareness and adoption of these beneficial management practices on Canadian farms, and particularly with young farmers. His passion, enthusiasm and generosity towards the farming community is unmatched.
As a farmer, agrologist and consultant, Cedric has a unique ability to connect with and engage fellow farmers, bringing enhanced insight and demonstrable relevance to the farming community – showing farmers how they can overcome the vast challenges presented by an ever-changing and increasingly complex sector.
Cedric's commitment to young farmers and their professional and personal development is a building block to their success. As a founding member and now general manager of the New Brunswick Young Farmers’ Forum, his enthusiasm for the young farmer program in both his own province and Canada-wide is a major contribution to the industry. In encouraging Canada’s young farmers to continuously seek opportunities to learn and grow their capacity to manage for success, Cedric in turn has sought to meet with and learn from the industry’s finest experts in Canada and across the globe, channeling their teachings to the farming community in New Brunswick, and Canada as a whole.
On top of his full-time consulting business, his beef farm and his involvement with the Young Farmers’ Forum, Cedric finds time to act as the executive director of the Canadian Forage & Grasslands Association, chair of the New Brunswick Cattle Producers, vice chair of the Centreville Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Carleton County Soil and Crop Improvement Association and treasurer of the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
Cedric’s work has contributed significantly towards progressing Canada’s agricultural industry in farm business management practices and specifically, in ensuring a future for Canada’s young farmers. Ambitious and visionary, Cedric is extremely passionate about the success of the industry and sees pathways to get there. To have accomplished so much at such a young age, Cedric MacLeod is an extremely deserving recipient of the Faculty of Agriculture’s Young Alumni Achievement Award for 2015.