Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award
Mark Woodsworth Waldron, DipAgr’55, BScAgr’59
Mark Waldron came to the Macdonald campus in the fall of 1953 from the family farm in East Clifton in the Eastern Townships. He completed the Diploma course in 1955 and continued his education receiving a BScAgr in 1959. In the mid-1960s, he completed an MSc and a PhD at the University of Wisconsin.
After five summers of jobs with Agriculture Canada, his first full time work was with the Ontario Dept. of Agriculture as an assistant agricultural representative in Lanark County, Ontario. Later, he joined the farm broadcast department of the CBC doing radio and television programs, as a farm commentator, in Toronto, Windsor and across Canada. In 1963, he returned to Macdonald as Director of Extension with responsibilities for the Macdonald Journal, Quebec Farm Forum, the television series ‘Focus on Forestry’ and rural extension for Québec farmers. In 1967, he was also named as Associate Director of Continuing Education for McGill. He became Director of Continuing Education and a professor in the Ontario Agricultural College, the University of Guelph in 1971.
Mark’s career has included teaching, research and extension with the publication of twenty five research articles, two textbooks, training videos and the supervision of fifty graduate students. He organized the first degree-credit distance education program and established the PhD program in rural community studies, both for the University of Guelph. He also started the very popular ‘Third Age Learning’ program for Guelph and the surrounding community.
Mark has received a number of national awards for his leadership in adult education across Canada including the Norman High Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society for Training and Development. In retirement, he has consulted locally and internationally in such areas as strategic planning, facilitation techniques and quality assessment in education. In addition, he recorded more than fifty podcasts for the Canadian Farm Business Management Council. In recognition of their community involvement, Mark and his wife, Wilda, have received the Order of Niagara from the Anglican Diocese of Niagara.
Mark recognizes the excellent education he received at Mac and the career long friendship of Dip’55, Agr’59, Mac students and faculty and the people of rural Québec.
Macdonald Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Frédéric Thériault, BSc(AgEnvSc)’04, MSc’08
Frédéric Thériault graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor's degree in Plant Science with minors in agricultural economics and ecological agriculture.
After graduation, he and four friends he had met on the Macdonald Campus started the Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, a workers’ co-op that sells locally and produces over 50 different types of certified organic vegetables, flowers, herbs and seeds (www.fermetournesol.qc.ca). The farm has been quite successful and has been awarded numerous prizes in its seven years of operation. In 2010, Tourne-Sol won the Desjardins Business Contest in the « Agriculture Category » and the Financière Agricole du Québec’s « Tournez-Vous Vers l’Excellence » contest, given to an outstanding young farmer in Québec.
Between 2006-2008 Frédéric worked part-time on the farm to be able to complete a Master's in Plant Science at Macdonald. During his MSc Frédéric also became involved in the Macdonald Innovations for Teaching Improvement (MiTi) project which he still coordinates. MiTi is a pedagogical initiative that aims to improve education on the campus by training teaching assistants, giving them basic pedagogical notions and tools.
With Daniel Brisebois, a friend from his BSc years and farm partner, Frédéric co-authored the book Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers which was published in 2010. The book outlines a step-by-step procedure to plan a diversified market garden, starting from financial objectives, seeding dates, quantities and going all the way to record keeping and data analysis. They have been invited across Canada to present workshops based on the book to help and motivate startup farmers.
Frédéric also taught at Macdonald and at Alfred College, and is very involved in his community. He is president of his local Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA) chapter and sits on the board of the UPA St-Jean-Valleyfield Federation. He is also a board member of Équiterre and of the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Farmers’ Market.