The 2002 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Jack Johnson, Class of 1950
A native of Lower Onslow, Nova Scotia, Jack Johnson graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1950 before going on to complete his studies at Macdonald College in 1952.
After graduation, Jack returned to Nova Scotia and joined the Livestock Services Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing as a Livestock Fieldman. He then joined CBC as a Farm and Fisheries Commentator in July 1955. In 1958 he was appointed Regional Supervisor CBC Farm and Fisheries Broadcasts for the Maritimes, a position he held until September 1966.
For eight years, as Regional supervisor with CBC, Jack was responsible for 14 daily radio broadcasts and two weekly television programs. Mr. Johnson performed as regular host of the very popular "Country Calendar" for five years and was instrumental in starting the television program "Fisherrman's Log" which was unique in service telecasting in the world..
During his 12 year career with CBC, Mr. Johnson was awarded the Canadian Farm Writer's TV-Award of Merit, was the first Maritimer and twice recipient of the CBC Cowhide Trophy honoring script writing and voicing in farm radio. Jack had the honor to be selected by FAO as the Canadian representative to a team of four radio broadcasters conducting a five-week seminar in Mexico city.
Jack left farm broadcasting in 1967 and spent the next 20 years serving as Director of the Soils and Crops Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing. In this capacity he placed emphasis on improved crop production and the development of a pesticide residue laboratory to serve the four Atlantic provinces. As well, the Land Evaluation and Planning Service was developed to aid farmers in long-term crop production and soil management. He served as Director of the NS Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission for 20 years and as Director of the NS Grain Commission for ten. During this period major steps were accomplished in developing grain handling infrastructure within the province. Jack also served as Chair of the Atlantic Field Crops Committee and later the Atlantic Committee on Animal Production.
Jack became Chairman of the NS Dairy Commission in 1987 following a period of contention and disorder within the industry and was able to bring about harmony while overseeing several significant changes during that period including the institution of a province-wide quota exchange. Jack was also involved at the national level on the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee and formed part of a group of arbitrators for the All Milk Pool. He was also a member of the International Association of Milk Control Agencies.
Since his retirement in 1995 Jack continues to work as a consultant on an as-required basis for the Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia. He is an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Seed Growers Association, receiving its Clarke-Newman Award in 1991. He is a former president of the NSIA and a Distinguished Life Member. Jack was president and is currently serving as Director of the Cobequid Salmon Association, Chair of the Official Board of the Clifton-Hilden Pastoral Charge, Elder of the Onslow United Church and was the recipient of the Community Service Award by the Clifton District Federation of Agriculture. Jack is also spearheading the efforts of the NSAC Class of 1950 in an effort to raise $50,000 for the College.
Jack and his wife Trudy reside in Lower Truro. Jack has five children, David, Eric, Bruce, Andrew and Susan all of whom live in the province.
Since graduation Jack has been a strong supporter of the NSAC and the Alumni Association. This combined with his dedication and contributions to the industry make him a very deserving recipient of the NSAC Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2002.