2019 recipients

Donald Lloyd Grant , BScAgr’60, MSc’62, PhD 66

Don followed in the footsteps of his uncle Edwin by graduating from Pictou Academy , NSAC and Macdonald, where both studied agricultural chemistry. He married Emilie Ritcey in 1959 and became a resident of the ”Huts” for the next 6 years. Sons Dean and Jeff were brought into the family in 61 and 63. The Chemistry Department with Professors Common (Chairman), Baker, Henneberry and Anastassiadis (graduate supervisor) and fellow grad students comprised Don’s second home where many days and nights were spent isolating and characterizing glycoproteins from the blood of pigs, chickens and cows. On moving to Ottawa and joining the Food Directorate of Health Canada (present name) in 1965, he found another Mac grad family working there and at Agricultural Canada. On Dr Common’s retirement , about 60 of this Ottawa Mac family turned out for his retirement party organized by Don. His organizing skills were put to use when the annual AOAC meeting was first held in Canada. Research on pesticides and chemical contaminants which may be found in foods occupied his working hours for the first 9 years in Ottawa. The rest of his career was devoted to the assessment of the safety in use of pesticides and chemical contaminants such as PCBs and Dioxins which may be present in foods. Expertise in this area resulted in serving on international committees (WHO. OECD, USA FDA etc). In 1999, Don retired as the Director of the Health Evaluation Division of the Pest Management Agency and founded D.L. Grant and Associates where he carried out work for NGOs, industry, federal government departments, New York State and CIDA. A Team of Mac Grads led by Don started the Bob Pugh Golf Classic for the purpose of raising monies to establish scholarships for deserving students at Mac. On the recreational side, 18 years were spent coaching in the Nepean Minor Hockey Association, playing old-timers hockey and building a family cottage. Today daily visits to Movati for exercise and social along with frequent bike rides on trails in Ottawa and elsewhere are enjoyed. Although Emilie passed away after 55 years together, Don is fortunate in that his 2 sons and 4 of 5 grandchildren live close by in Ottawa.

Valérie Toupin-Dubé, Agr, BSc(AgEnvSc)’16

Valérie Toupin-Dubé Agr took action to improve community welfare, particularly among children, youth and individuals with special needs. It all began when she identified a lack of awareness of issues such as agriculture and nutrition both locally and regionally. In 2012, while she was a student at McGill University, she started volunteering with the Macdonald Student-run Ecological Garden. This is a community-supported initiative, which serves as a space for students to learn about agricultural production and to supply sustainable fruits and vegetables to the West-Island community of Montreal and McGill students. During that time, she co-founded the Out of the Garden Project Café and the Farm-to-School Project to increase knowledge around local food and responsible procurement. This project allowed numerous young people at the Macdonald Campus to gain a better comprehension of where their food comes from and the implications of growing food in a northern climate, like ours. Following her graduation in 2016, Valérie became an agronome and spearheaded the transitioning of the Farm-to-School project from a student club to an independent non-profit where she has received the Laure Waridel Bursery: École-O-Champ Québec. Qu’a-t'il de meilleur que d’apprendre dans le champ, she says! Over the past year, she has led the organization’s rapid growth. Today, they work with numerous schools and farms across Quebec. École-O-Champ’s moto is to reconnect people to their source of living; it offers educational summer camps and provides activities, conferences and workshop in innovative agriculture and various outreach initiatives, in addition to programs that include agriculture, environment and nutrition literacy. Last year the community of youth has participated in the preservation of the Melon D’Oka, in Oka; they provided the restaurant Le Mousseau in Montreal with 300 melons and have preserved the seeds for this year’s production. École-O-Champ was approached this year by the new owner of the Abbaye d’Oka to become an official partner and partake in programs such has agrarian history of the region and spreading it to the community. The program is run like a boot camp for youth and kids - they learn in the field by observing and asking question, gain new perspectives for their future career path, explore different environmental choices, and get their hands dirty!

Back to top