Farm Credit Canada makes investment in the future of agriculture

Members of the LFCE Steering Committee receive a cheque from Marty Seymour from FCC (third from left) on January 23 at the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference.

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has committed $100,000 towards the construction of the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) – a world-class facility that will unite livestock and forage research, and allow for enhanced teaching and outreach.

Marty Seymour, FCC’s director of industry and stakeholder relations, said that FCC was eager to support the project, knowing the positive effects the centre will have not only on the cattle and forage sindustries, but on students who will have access to the most advanced facilities and best practices.

“We are proud to invest in projects that support agriculture research and enhance the student experience. This will also help attract the best and the brightest into pursuing an education and future career in agriculture.”

FCC has been supporting agricultural initiatives at the University of Saskatchewan for more than 30 years, supporting student awards, helping to fund the construction of the Rayner Dairy Research and Teaching Facility, and recently provided the necessary funds to refurbish a study area for agriculture students.

Janelle Smith, M.Sc Candidate in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, will be one of the first students to conduct research at the newly constructed LFCE facilities once they open in spring, 2018.

Mary Buhr, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, said the support of donors like FCC has been crucial in helping bring the vision of the LFCE to reality.

“When we brought forward the LFCE initiative to Farm Credit Canada, they recognized the potential of these facilities and this centre to benefit the cattle and forage industries, to advance research, to help producers gain access to new innovation and to provide the human capacity and leadership that our industry needs,” Buhr said. “We are grateful for their support.”

FCC’s donation will go towards construction of the livestock and food building at the Clavet site, which will house a meeting room and handling facilities equipped with real-time video capability, allowing in-house and distance education and outreach activities to be conducted.

Two new facilities for the LFCE are expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 and will complement current livestock and forage research sites. The LFCE, a partnership between the U of S, the livestock and forage industries, and the Saskatchewan and federal governments, will unite livestock and forage field laboratories and science labs in a collaborative centre with a total cost of $36 million.

To learn more about the project, visit

Spafford a part of Huskies legacy

Former hockey captain Dr. Peter Spafford contributes $100,000 to Home Ice Campaign

Captain Peter Spafford (front row, third from right) with the 1987-88 men’s Huskies hockey team

Being a University of Saskatchewan alum is practically tradition for the Spafford family. The late Duff Spafford left a legacy at the U of S both as an alumnus and as a dedicated community member and Professor Emeritus of Political Studies. Keeping with tradition, his son, Dr. Peter Spafford, not only received his education from the U of S, but has spent much of his professional career educating others.

Dr. Peter Spafford graduated from the College of Medicine at the U of S in 1987, and has gone on to have a successful practice in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery. He has been the head of the Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the U of S for more than two decades, and also served as the president of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

The next generation of Spaffords are keen to carry on the U of S tradition. Spafford’s daughter, Megan Spafford, is currently studying at the College of Medicine, and his son Matt Spafford (B.Comm ’16) recently graduated as a fifth-year player on the men’s Huskies hockey team in 2016.

Dr. Spafford beams with pride at being one of the few father-son duos to both play Huskies hockey, having himself captained the team in the ‘80s. He led the squad to a silver medal at the national championships in 1987, and says his time as a student athlete helped instill his work ethic and left him with a lasting network of friends.

“If I was going to be a good medical student I had to retain everything so that I could keep up my academics while balancing being an athlete – that was a valuable life lesson,” Spafford says. “Coach Dave King was very inspiring to me because he instilled that my pursuit of medicine was just as important as hockey.”

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Alumni appointed to the Order of Canada

Dr. Kay Nasser  (Photo: Liam Richards)

Two U of S alumni have received one of the country’s highest civilian honours by being appointed to the Order of Canada.

Karim (Kay) Nasser and Harold Orr were recently appointed to the Order, which recognizes Canadians for their outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Nasser, who earned his PhD and taught civil engineering at the U of S for 33 years, is a passionate long-time supporter of the university. His appointment to the Order is in honor of his contributions to civil engineering and community development, and for his philanthropy in support of education, health care and the arts.

Nasser and his family have donated more than $13.5 million to the U of S, and continue to support students annually through The Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust and the Nasser Scholarship Fund, which has helped hundreds of students over the years.

In addition to his support of the U of S, Nasser has been a pillar in supporting various community institutions from the Remai Modern Art Gallery, Saskatoon Public Library, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and all four city hospitals, including the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

Alumnus Harold Orr received both a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, and a Master of Science from the U of S, and is known as a pioneer of energy-efficient home building in Canada. His research led to the concept of passive solar design, which allows homes to retain heat from the sun through structural design. Orr’s appointment to the Order is in recognition of his contributions as a housing engineer who promotes energy efficiency and conservation in Canadian homes.