Phil Stead

Class of 1965

The 2008 Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to Phillip Stead class of 1965.

Phil Stead has devoted his professional and personal life to the advancement of Maritime agriculture. Born in Princeport, Nova Scotia Phil grew up on a farm which inspired an acute interest in farming and agriculture that has lasted a lifetime.

Phil graduated from Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) in 1965 with a degree certificate. He left Nova Scotia to complete his B.Sc. in Animal Science at McGill University and returned in 1967 to begin what was to be a long and successful career with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, working as a sheep specialist with the Animal Industry Branch. In 1972 Phil continued his education by completing a M.Sc. in Agriculture and Nutrition at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Phil worked with sheep until 1974 when he was transferred to dairy where he also worked as a specialist. Phil was promoted to dairy supervisor with the Animal Industry Branch in 1982 and as manager of the Ruminant Livestock Production Technology Branch in 1989. Phil continued with dairy programs until he retired in 1996.

After his retirement from the Department of Agriculture, Phil worked as special projects manager for the Nova Scotia Animal Breeders Co-Op Ltd. until 1998. In 1999 Phil became secretary and part-time fieldman for the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland branch of The Holstein Association of Canada: a position that he continues to hold in a part-time capacity.

Phil was very active in his years with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. In the 1970s he spearheaded the upgrading of dairy production in Nova Scotia. Under his leadership, dairy production almost doubled as he worked tirelessly in coordinating the implementation of new, more efficient technology. Phil’s expertise was sought outside the borders of Canada and he traveled to the Czech and Slovak republics conducting extension projects for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing. Phil was a member of the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Task Force from 1990 to 1991. He was also chairman of the 1992 annual Canadian Association of Animal Breeders convention which was hosted in Halifax that year.

When talking about the success of the projects he has led Phil points with to the hard work and dedication of those who worked with and for him. This characteristic humbleness no doubt is one of the many reasons Phil is so highly regarded both in his community and in the Nova Scotia agricultural industry.

Despite a demanding career, Phil has devoted much of his personal time to the advancement of Maritime agriculture. Phil has volunteered with the Provincial Exhibition since 1965 where he sat on the board of directors and was chairman of the board for a two year term. Phil also served on the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame board for 12 years. During his time with this organization, Phil found a permanent home at NSAC for the portraits and citations of the Hall of Fame inductees. Phil has been heavily involved with 4-H organization since 1957. He has served as a 4-H club leader and a judge on field days and at Provincial shows.

Phil has never stopped volunteering. He has raised two children and since his formal retirement in 1996 he has only devoted more of his time, despite being busy with three active grandchildren.

Phil is also involved in his community by being an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of Canada and in his local church where he currently sits on the board of managers.

For his passion for volunteering and his many years of serving the Maritime agricultural community, Phil Stead is an outstanding recipient of the 2008 Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award.

Presented by past Chair of the NSAC Foundation, Dick Huggard November 14, 2008.