AIC's highest honour, the title of Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada recognizes an individual AIC member who has made a distinguished contribution to Canadian agriculture through contributions to building scientific capacity for societal good, integration and collaboration between disciplines and sectors, and communications. Dr. Ernie Barber received the award at a dinner in Ottawa on June 11, 2014.
Dr. Ernie Barber has made outstanding contributions to Canadian agriculture through a distinguished and wide-ranging career of research, academic leadership and partnership building with industry and government.
His research has contributed significantly to Canadian agriculture through advances in the ventilation, heating and air quality control of intensive livestock units worldwide - improving the health of humans and animals and minimizing the impact of these facilities on the environment.
He is currently building critical scientific capacity as Managing Director of the new $50-million Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan, a research institute built upon a unique public-private partnership involving PotashCorp, the Saskatchewan government and the university. The GIFS enables multi-disciplinary research, training and technology development aimed at increasing agricultural productivity, supporting a prosperous agricultural bio-economy, and contributing to the goal of global food and nutrition security through innovation and international partnerships.
A long-time professor and administrator at the University of Saskatchewan, his exemplary work within numerous senior leadership portfolios has consistently encouraged and made possible critical collaborations - both interdisciplinary ones among researchers and many others between academics, government and industrial partners. With an enthusiasm for agriculture that colleagues call "infectious," Barber is highly regarded as an outstanding educator, communicator and builder of research capacity.
In addition to his outstanding work as a researcher and administrator, Barber has also earned a reputation as an exceptional mentor and educator. He has won four teaching-related awards while at the University of Saskatchewan, and many of his former students are now important contributors to agriculture in academia and within many other public and private institutions.
Barber was also recently named Interim Provost and Vice-Provost (Academic) for the U of S. This is the second time he has held this role, as he previously filled this vacancy from 2007 to 2008.
Barber is the first Saskatchewan resident to receive this honour since 2004, when Glenden William Hass - a longtime contributor to agriculture in both the private and public sectors - was made an AIC fellow.