Dr Murray McLaughlin

The 1997 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Murray F. McLaughlin.

Dr. McLaughlin is a native of Oromocto, New Brunswick. He is a graduate of NSAC, Class of 1966, and Macdonald College where he received his B.Sc. degree, majoring in Horticulture.

Dr. McLaughlin received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University in the Department of Vegetable Crops. He has had a distinguished career in agricultural research and development with Green Giant Canada and ELANCO, Division of Eli Lilly Canada Inc.

Dr. McLaughlin is perhaps most noted for the major role he played in the establishment of Saskatchewan as a world leader in the biotechnology industry. His vision and leadership led to Saskatoon becoming a centre of excellence in the biotech field. Prior to moving to Saskatoon to become president of Ag-West Biotech Inc. in 1989 and executive director of the International Centre for Agricultural Science and Technology (ICAST) in 1995, he spent most of his life in Eastern Canada while he earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Dr. McLaughlin was honoured recently as the Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year for 1996 - by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association (CAMA). In the citation it was indicated that Dr. McLaughlin had proven himself as an agricultural leader and innovator during his 30 years in the industry. The CAMA credits Dr. McLaughlin with developing Saskatoon as Canada s leading ag-biotech community and Centre for Excellence . Dr. McLaughlin took the concept of a new agricultural biotechnology development organization called Ag-West Biotech and in only six years created a mega-million dollar industry. Dr. McLaughlin was also instrumental in attracting 28 ag-biotech businesses, employing more than 400 professional staff with an annual investment in research estimated at $50 million.

In 1996, he was appointed Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food. In addition, he has served on an extensive range of national boards and advisory committees involved with food and agricultural issues.

And he isn t finished yet. On July 1, Dr. McLaughlin will try to create a similar success story in Ontario where he will head the innovative Ontario Agri-Food Technologies Inc. This is a non-profit partnership centred on the University of Guelph s expertise in agricultural research. The organization is bringing together the research activities of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, four other Ontario universities, nine agricultural corporations, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto Biotechnology Initiative and a dozen producers.

On behalf of all alumni, the NSAC Alumni Association is proud to offer congratulations to this most distinguished recipient of the Alumnus Award for 1997. Dr. McLaughlin received the award at the annual Awards Banquet of the Alumni Association, August 16, 1997.