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Retired OAFT President Gord Surgeoner Honored with BIO's Leadership and Legacy Award

July 18, 2017
Dr. Gord Surgeoner, OOnt, former president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT), will receive the 2nd annual BIO Leadership and Legacy Award on Wednesday July 26, 2017, during a lunch plenary session of the 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. The world’s largest industrial biotechnology and partnering event will be held July 23-26, 2017 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

On news of receiving the award, Surgeoner said, “The global biobased economy provides new opportunities for Ontario’s and Canada’s agricultural and food industries. That is why I have dedicated much of my energy to expanding access to new technologies and market opportunities, which help Ontario producers compete in the global marketplace. I am honored to receive BIO’s Leadership and Legacy Award.”

“BIO’s Leadership and Legacy Award was created to honor an individual who has dedicated a significant portion of their career to growing the biobased economy," added Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section and host of the annual BIO World Congress. "Gord Surgeoner is a strong advocate for Canadian agriculture and the opportunities Canada has in a global biobased economy. During his 30-year career, he has worked tirelessly to champion causes that are important to Canada’s agricultural industry. Montreal is a fitting place to present him this award.”

Surgeoner has built a long and distinguished career in agriculture and new technologies. After completing his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1971 at the University of Guelph, Surgeoner earned a Master’s degree in Economic Entomology in 1973, also from Guelph, and a Ph.D. in Forest Entomology in 1976 from Michigan State University. Surgeoner then became an esteemed professor at the University of Guelph in Environmental Biology and Plant Agriculture, where he remained on faculty until his retirement in 2004.

Seconded from the University of Guelph in 1999, Surgeoner became the president of OAFT, a non-profit organization consisting of members from farm associations, universities/colleges, industry and regional governments. The organization focuses on ensuring that Ontario producers have access to the latest technologies to compete globally and to develop new market opportunities, many of which are beyond food. In September 2014, he retired as president of OAFT, but continues to advocate on behalf of Canadian agriculture as an Associate with OAFT and through various Board positions. Gord is currently semi-retired and working with agriculture producers and food processors on sustainability initiatives.

In 2005 Surgeoner was invested with the Order of Ontario. This distinguished award recognizes Surgeoner's significant contribution to Ontario's agri-food sector.

Surgeoner is the 2nd recipient honored with the annual BIO Leadership and Legacy Award. The recipient of the inaugural award is Dr. Ganesh Kishore, CEO, MLSCFI and co-Managing Partner, Spruce Capital Partners.