Ontario Pork Awards 2019 - What's New | Ontario Pork
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Friday, March 22, 2019

Ontario Pork Awards 2019

Clare Schlegel & Dr. Robert Friendship

This year, Ontario Pork honours a passionate advocate for the provincial pork industry and a proud pork producer from Perth County, Clare Schlegel.

Clare Schlegel has been in the hog business since 1979. He and his wife Catherine live and farm near Shakespeare, close to the original Schlegel family farm. Now operated by their son Tobin and his family, the home farm has been in the Schlegel family since the 1830s. Clare and Catherine’s son Adam is a partner in Schlegelhome Farms, a mid-sized farm that raises livestock, grows crops, and operates a grain elevator and a small trucking business. 

Clare is a past Chair of Ontario Pork and served as president of the Canadian Pork Council. He received the Carl Block Award for outstanding leadership in animal health. Clare represents Ontario Pork at Swine Health Ontario, an industry-wide committee of seven individuals who collaborate to improve the industry’s ability to prevent, prepare for and respond to serious swine health threats in Ontario. At Swine Health Ontario, Clare spearheads the Swine Health Information System project. The system is based on the aggregated data network to monitor and prevent the spread of disease in pig herd. Clare believes that producer-driven data systems will likely continue to grow with the potential to give Ontario a competitive advantage and to improve emergency response.

Clare loves what he does and is proud to be an Ontario farmer.  Thank you Clare!

Clare Schlegel accepting his award from Ontario Pork Chair, Eric Schwindt. 

This year, Ontario Pork recognizes Dr. Robert Friendship of the University of Guelph for his outstanding achievements and tremendous commitment to the pork industry in Ontario.
Bob Friendship, DVM, MSc, grew up on a dairy farm near Guelph. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in 1977 and entered mixed animal practice in Seaforth. Two years later, Bob returned to the University of Guelph in a faculty position to teach swine health management, and has remained there ever since.

His current position is professor in the Department of Population Medicine, with an active research and teaching role. Bob’s principal areas of research interest are swine health management, disease surveillance and on-farm aspects of food safety. Within these topics he has spearheaded countless research projects including many studies with funding from Ontario Pork. Specifically, these include investigations into iron deficiency of piglets, factors affecting milk yield of gilts and sows, the use of synchronized ovulation and single, timed inseminations and benchmarking the performance of Ontario nurseries.

In addition to the knowledge gained from these studies, Bob’s research has trained and inspired a large number of graduate students, many of whom are now working in and contributing to Ontario’s swine industry. The list is too long to name them all, but a few of Bob’s past graduate students that you may recognize include: Dr. Ryan Tennburg of Demeter Veterinary Services, Dr. Christine Pelland of Southwestern Ontario Veterinary Services, Dr. Terri O’Sullivan of the University of Guelph and Kathy Zurbrigg of Ontario Pork. Bob’s research, experience and knowledge has led him to publish more than 100 papers in refereed journals, and 10 book chapters.

Dr. Friendship’s contribution to research, teaching and the swine industry has been recognized by a number of organizations. He was awarded the Howard Dunne Memorial Award in 2003 by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians for outstanding service to their organization and the swine industry. Bob received a University of Guelph Distinguished Professor Award for teaching excellence in 2006, and the Zoetis (Pfizer) Award for research excellence in 2011, given to recognize outstanding research effort and productivity at the Ontario Veterinary College.

Ontario Pork would like to recognize Dr. Friendship’s positive attitude, encouragement and education of students, love of pigs and tireless work to continuously improve the Ontario swine industry. It is with great pleasure that we present the 2019 Industry Achievement Award to Dr. Robert Friendship.

Dr. Bob Friendship receiving his award from Ontario Pork Vice-chair John de Bruyn.


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