Awards

The following are awards given out to distinguished individuals who have contributed to the betterment of Canadian Agriculture.

The CSGA Honorary Life Award is presented to persons who, by distinguished services to the Association, have contributed to the betterment of Canadian agriculture.

The Robertson Associate Award is awarded to those members who have fulfilled with utmost fidelity and success their obligation to the Association.

The Clark-Newman-Clayton Award is in recognition of a person who has made an exceptional contribution to pedigreed seed production in Canada and to agriculture. The recipient is to choose a Canadian University who will be requested to name a suitable post-graduate student to receive a $2,500 grant from CSGA. The postgraduate student must be personally involved in a seed related project of value to seed growers.


2021 Award Recipients

Dr. Helen Booker
2021 Honorary Life Award

Helen is an Associate Professor and plant breeder who leads the wheat program at the University of Guelph focusing on improved winter wheat production in Ontario. This includes large field-scale experiments and evaluation of breeding lines.

Previously, an Associate Professor and Flax Breeder at the Crop Development Centre, USask, Helen co-developed six flax cultivars and was sole breeder of two new flax cultivars for production in Canada.

She has published 31 peer-reviewed publications, seven cultivar descriptions, and authored or co-authored three book chapters.

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Cathy Breadner
2021 Honorary Life Award

Cathy started her career at Maple Leaf Mills in Oakwood, Ontario, where she trained to be a seed analyst. She then established Canadian Seed Lab and spent 32 years managing daily operations, training future analysts and graders, and advocating for the industry.

Cathy has also worked a certified auditor across Canada with the Canadian Seed Institute (CSI).

Retired in 2021, Cathy runs a family sheep farm with her husband Jim, son Isaac and daughter-in-law Heather.

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Dr. Istvan Rajcan
2021 Honorary Life Award

Born and raised in Novi Sad, Serbia, Istvan graduated from the University of Novi Sad with a B.Sc. (Agr.). He began his career a research assistant in sunflower breeding.

Moving to Canada in 1991, Istvan is a Professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph. He holds a Ph.D. in canola breeding and genetics and has developed more than 70 soybean cultivars.

He leads a soybean breeding and genetics program, and his research explores genetic variation for yield and disease resistance traits. Istvan has trained 46 graduate students at the masters or Ph.D. level.

Istvan has received several awards including the 2022 Canadian Plant Breeding and Genetics award. He has co-edited two books, published 10 book chapters and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.

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Doug Stirling
2021 Honorary Life Award

Doug began working for the Department of Agriculture as a summer student sampling seed and fertilizer and crop inspections in 1973.

After graduating from the University of Guelph, Doug earned an inspector-officer position with Agriculture Canada, working there for almost 35 years.

During his career, Doug helped shape and change Ontario and Canada programs and polices. He was a major contributor to the Certification program for pedigreed seed crop inspectors, setting a nation-wide standard.

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Joe Hickson
2021 Robertson Associate Award

Becoming a seed grower 35 years ago, Joe started with Maple Arrow soybeans.

He continues to produce pedigreed soybean seed with his brother and has branched out into both spring and winter cereals for seed production.

Joe sits on many Boards, including as a Grain Farmers of Ontario Director, the Ontario Seed Growers’ Association and Farm & Food Care Ontario.

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Kevin Runnalls
2021 Robertson Associate Award

In 1980, Kevin and his wife purchased their first farm on the land his great grandfather established in 1902. He began as a contract grower and became a seed producer in 1989. He and his sons now manage 6,000 acres of crop production.

Kevin has sat on the Ontario Seed Growers Board, the Canada Seed Institute Board, and the CSGA Board. He was CSGA President from 2016 to 2018.

Today, Kevin represents CSGA on the Canadian Federation of Agriculture Board.

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Peter Szentimrey
2021 Robertson Associate Award

Peter is involved in almost every aspect of seed production, seed processing and registration. He prides himself on the hard work and dedication that goes into each bag of Szentimrey Seeds. Peter also runs a commercial grain elevator and seed processing plant.

A second-generation seed grower, Peter received his Variety Maintainer status in 2014.

Peter was active various Boards, including Golden Horseshoe Soil and Crop, Brant Soil and Crop, and recently completing his term of Past President with the Ontario Seed Growers’ Association

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Dr. Alireza (Ali) Navabi
2021 Clark-Newman-Clayton Award

Ali was a dedicated plant breeder, researcher, educator and an extremely active member within the Ag sector. He began his career as a research officer in Central Iran after graduating Shiraz University with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and Plant Breeding.

With a Masters of Science in Plant Breeding, he moved to Edmonton, in 1998 to start his PhD focusing his research on genetic resistance to rust diseases of wheat.

In 2016 Ali was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Agronomy and was recognized as a Seed Champion by the Ontario Seed Growers’ Association in 2018. Involved with numerous scientific/professional societies and committees, Ali published 65 peer reviewed papers, 30 variety disclosures and gave over 100 conference presentations both nationally and internationally.

Prof. Alireza Navabi passed away on March 10, 2019. His dedication to his work and his devotion to those around him will always be remembered.

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2020 Award Recipients

CSGA Honorary Life Award


Robertson Association Award


2019 Award Recipients

CSGA Honorary Life Award


Robertson Association Award

 


2018 Award Recipients

CSGA Honorary Life Award

Robertson Association Award

 


2017 Award Recipients

CSGA Honorary Life Award

Robertson Association Award

 


2016 Award Recipients

CSGA Honorary Life Award

Clark-Newman-Clayton Recipient

Robertson Association Award

 


2015 Award Recipients

CSGA Honorary Life Award

Robertson Association Award


Previous Recipients (as of 1931)