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Cameron, Elizabeth Gow - 1973
Campbell, Edward McAlpine -1993
Campbell, Constantine Alberga - 1999
Carlson, Armenia - 1982
Catley, William Norman - 1974
Christensen, David Albert - 2011
Clark, Herbert Ross -1992
Colley, Ann -1993
Cooper, George Mitchell - 1983
Cooper, George ADJ - 2017
Cooper, William - 2000
Copeland, William James - 2008
Copeland, Alma Jean - 2007
Craig, Burton MacKay - 2001
Cram, William Hugh - 1997
Crawford, Lloyd Brooks - 1988
Crawford, Roy Douglas - 1998

Portrait

Burton MacKay Craig

Burt Craig, who pioneered a laboratory analysis method that greatly speeded development of canola as a cash crop, was born May 29, 1918, at Vermilion, Alberta, but was raised on a farm near Naicam. He earned his BSA in 1944, his MSc in chemistry in 1946 at the University of Saskatchewan and his PhD at the University of Minnesota in 1950.

He began his research career in 1944 at the University of Saskatchewan oilseeds laboratory. In 1950 he moved to the National Research Council as research officer, right at a time when interest was growing in developing rapeseed as a Prairie oilseed crop. Since rapeseed contained chemical elements that deterred its use for human and animal consumption, work began to develop varieties that sharply reduced percentages of these fatty acids. Burt Craig's research was key in developing a test using gas-liquid chromatography that enabled scientists like Keith Downey and Baldur Stefansson to develop acceptable new oilseed varieties in a relatively short period of years.

Burt also pioneered nutritional experiments with vegetable oils and then travelled widely to introduce these methods for the rapeseed processing industry as it evolved in the 1950s and later. It was an uphill battle to change an oilseeds industry that was geared to soybeans and sunflowers but soon rapeseed and canola took over an important share of both the human and animal food market. He lived to see the day that canola became the major source of vegetable oil in Canada and was making inroads into the United States market. Japan also was an important customer and these growing markets had canola challenging wheat as the No. 1 cash crop on the Prairies. Burt Craig deserves his share of credit, both for selling industry on using rapeseed for raw material and for convincing farmers there was money to be made in growing this crop.

Burt became director of the NRC Prairie Regional Laboratory in 1970, a post he held until retirement in 1983. In this role he encouraged research related to food plant improvement. A major contribution to plant research came just before Burt's retirement in 1983, the founding of the Plant Biotechnology Institute. He was an active promoter of the POS Pilot Plant and other developments in Innovation Place at the University of Saskatchewan . An Innovation Place research building is named in his honour.

He received the Bond Medal from the American Oil Chemists Society, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, honorary life membership in the Agricultural Institute of Canada, CSP Canola Research Award, the W.J. Eva Award (Canadian Society of Food Scientists and Technologists), and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Sponsored for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 2001
by the Plant Biotechnology Institute and POS Systems Ltd.

 

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