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Zentner, Robert Paul - 2009

PortraitRobert Paul Zentner

Through his economic analysis, Robert Zentner has had an enormous impact on agriculture and agricultural research in Canada. Born at LeRoy, Saskatchewan, in 1949 and raised on a nearby farm, Bob went on to a long and successful career with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

He received his training in agricultural economics through a BSA with distinction in 1972 from the University of Saskatchewan, followed by a MSc in 1975. In 1982 Bob completed a PhD from the University of Minnesota.

Bob started his career in 1974 as a Research Economist with Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta. At the time producers were receiving a considerable amount of agronomic research information, but Bob translated this into its effects on net returns and risk, essential information for farmers.

After receiving his PhD, he accepted a research scientist position with AAFC in Swift Current, and from 1992 to 2002 served as head of the Soils and Environment section. Since 1985 he has also held an adjunct professorship appointment with the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan.

Bob’s productivity and leadership of multidisciplinary agricultural research has spanned many facets of developing economic and environmentally sustainable farming systems for Western Canada. His research covered such areas as crop rotations, new crop adaptation, fertilizer and herbicide management, tillage methods, snow and water conservation, soil organic matter, carbon sequestration, forage production and livestock grazing systems. Bob’s work includes a landmark report often quoted by policy makers summarizing the return on investment from public expenditures for cereal breeding research.

Over his career Bob has authored or co-authored an incredible number of publications and papers. He has also directed and advised several MSc and PhD students and mentored new scientists.

He has been recipient of numerous awards. In 2006 he received the highest honour from the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, and in 2007 he was indicated into the AAFC Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was named to the “Wall of Honour” at the University of Saskatchewan, and in 1998 he received the Distinguished Agrologist Award from the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists. He has also been named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Agronomy and the Agricultural Institute of Canada.

Sponsored for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 2009
by the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Center

 

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