The 1999 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Richard James (Dick) Huggard.
Born in Norton, New Brunswick, Richard James "Dick" Huggard graduated from Belleisle Regional High School and worked on the home farm for one year before entering the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in the fall of 1954. Following graduation from NSAC in 1956 he entered Macdonald College of McGill University and received his B.Sc (Agr.) in Animal Husbandry in 1958.
Dick Huggard joined the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing as a Livestock Fieldman working primarily with dairy and beef animals. Three significant developments in livestock improvement took place during this time: Performance testing of beef cattle was started in Nappan, Feeder sales were developed including a weekly livestock sale at Truro and Community Pastures were developed. For ten years Dick was also responsible for lecturing in Animal Science at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.
He took a leave of absence to pursue post graduate studies in animal nutrition at the University of Illinois and obtained his M.Sc. degree in 1965. Returning to Nova Scotia, Dick became Provincial Livestock Superintendent as well as providing expertise in the field of animal nutrition.
He was appointed Director of the Livestock Services Branch in 1973. His leadership ability and interest in people as well as rural organizations made him a logical candidate for Director of the Extension Services Branch in 1975, a position which he held for the next eleven years.
Highlights of Dick's career during this period include: organizing the Provincial 4-H Leaders Council, the Provincial 4-H Show, Young Farmers Conference, Farm & Home Safety Committee, Women's Institutes developed independence and the first Provincial Farm Women's Conference was organized. Commodity groups in Nova Scotia, for the first time, hired persons trained in Home Economics and nutrition to promote their commodity interest. Federal-Provincial agreements were signed and Extension staff & Agricultural engineers figured prominently in the delivery of assistance programs at the farm level.
In 1986 Dick Huggard was appointed Chief Director of Operations for the Department working out of the Halifax Office. He later became Executive Director of Administration, responsible for staffing and budgets. In September 1991 he was appointed Deputy Minister, a position he held until his retirement in October 1994.
During his 36 years with the NSDAM, Dick Huggard has worked very closely with farm people, industry leaders, scientists, college students, federal and provincial government officials and many others to promote and develop the agricultural industry both in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Active in many community and professional organizations Dick has served as President of the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists and both the Eastern Branch and Canadian Societies of Animal Science. In 1978-79 he served as President of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the second person from Nova Scotia to be elected to this position.
He is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, an international honor society in agriculture and in 1991 was made a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the highest recognition the Institute bestows on its members. He received the Erland Lee Award in appreciation of his contribution and support of the work of Women's Institutes in Canada, the Award of Merit from the Canadian Society of Animal Science and is an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Society of Extension. He is an Honorary Member of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture Senate Club and in 1995 received the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologist Distinguished Agrologist award.
Dick Huggard has continued to be very active in his "post retirement years" whether it is with the Cobequid Salmon Association (of which he is a charter member), the Antique Farm Machinery display at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition or serving on the NSAC Alumni Committee planning the new Student Centre.
This year he will complete a four year term as Chairman of the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council. As an "Ambassador for Agriculture" he has few equals.
Since graduation in 1956 Dick Huggard has been a strong supporter of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. His expertise in livestock nutrition, leadership ability, dedication to the industry and significant contributions in the fields of extension and public administration, make him a very deserving recipient of the NSAC Distinguished Alumnus Award for 1999.