Dr Herbert MacRae

The 1990 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Herbert F. MacRae.

Dr. MacRae is a former Principal of the NSAC who gave freely of himself throughout his professional career to further his vision of a strong, national, agricultural system. In recognition of his efforts he was elected a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada in 1988 and named to the Order of Canada in 1992.

Herbert MacRae was born in Middle River, Cape Breton, NS where he grew up on the family farm. Upon graduation from the Nova Scotia Teachers College, he taught high school in his home province. After five years of teaching, he returned to his real passion, the study of agriculture at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He graduated at the top of his class, receiving a scholarship to attend Macdonald College where he earned his Bachelor of Science, Masters of Science and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Agricultural Chemistry from McGill University.

Following his Ph.D, Dr. MacRae worked two years with the Food and Drug Directorate, Health and Welfare Canada before returning to Macdonald College where he spent the next 12 years advancing a successful teaching career. In addition to his teaching, Dr. MacRae was also a productive scientist in the area of animal science, contributing articles to a variety of refereed journals.

In 1972, Dr. MacRae left his post as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Animal Science, Macdonald College and returned to Nova Scotia as Principal of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College where he remained for the next 17 years. During his tenure, the College doubled its student enrolment, became a degree granting institution in association with Dalhousie University and underwent $25 million in new construction.

While Principal of the NSAC, Dr. MacRae provided leadership to the agri-food industry in numerous capacities including as founding member and later Chairman of the Canadian Agricultural Research Council (CARC). He also served as President of the Association of Faculties of Agriculture in Canada, Chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Agricultural Services Coordinating Committee, Chairman of the Association of Deans of the Faculties of Agriculture in Canada and as Executive Director, Confederation of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. MacRae was honored by McGill University with an Honorary Doctorate in 1987. Upon his retirement from the NSAC in 1989, the College library was named in his honour. He is active in many community organizations.