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China bestows rare honour on Canadian agricultural scientist

The Baicheng Academy of Agricultural Sciences is honouring Government of Canada agricultural scientist Dr. Vernon Burrows for his achievements in improving food security, his innovations in oat breeding science and his outstanding contribution to the friendship between Canada and China. A bronze bust of Dr. Burrows was unveiled today at the China-Canada Agricultural Science and Technology Forum in Baicheng, Jilin Province, China.

"I congratulate Dr. Burrows on his lifetime of work in agricultural science and on this honour from the Chinese people," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "His innovations have gone beyond benefiting farmers, consumers and economies to strengthening this important international friendship."

Dr. Burrows began volunteer consulting to the Baicheng Academy of Agricultural Sciences more than 14 years ago to help develop oat production in areas of northern China where growing conditions were poor due to saline and arid soil. The results of his work have led to increased food security and economic opportunities in this part of China.

Dr. REN Changzhong, President of the Baicheng Academy of Agricultural Sciences of Jilin Province and a former student of Dr. Burrows, praised his former teacher; "He is a Canadian agricultural scientist revered by the Chinese people and praised as an international friend in the style of Canada's Dr. Norman Bethune."

Dr. Burrows' distinguished career with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) spans more than six decades. He has bred and registered 27 new oat varieties, including the first hairless and hulless oat. He retired from AAFC in 1996, but continues to work in an emeritus capacity as a national and international authority on oat breeding and oat usage.

Dr. Burrows' numerous professional awards include The Order of Canada (2001), The Friendship Award of China (2003), AAFC's Agcellence Award in the Innovation category (2000), and the Agricultural Institute of Canada's prestigious Grindley Medal (1975).

by S. C.
28 june 2012, World News > America