THE University of Manitoba has unveiled a bronze bust of the Manitoba scientist known as the Father of Canola.
Baldur R. Stefansson, the scientist who invented a strain of canola that had a major effect on crop science in Canada, was the first to be honoured at the campus's new memorial walkway, Innovation Plaza on Thursday.
"Canola is such an important part of the agricultural economy here in the province and agriculture is such an important part in the history of the province and still of our current economic situation and our future economic prospects," said University of Manitoba president David Barnard. "Stefansson's contribution to that is outstanding."
Innovation Plaza, located at Auld Place, south of the Buller Building on the Fort Garry campus, was put in place to honour U of M researchers and Manitoba innovators.
"This plaza will serve as an inspiration to students and to all of us in the community," said Barnard. "It's a visible reminder of the global benefits of research and discovery."
The university is calling for proposals for upcoming busts to be placed at the plaza.
"(The) discovery is a quintessential example of university research that addresses the needs of the province, the country and the world that we serve." said Barnard. "Throughout the history of this university, researchers of agricultural and food sciences have focused on finding safe, healthy, environmentally sustainable and efficient ways to feed the world."
The development of canola resulted in myriad nutritious food products that contribute more than $15 billion to Canada's economy.
Stefansson, who died at the age of 84 in 2002, worked at the U of M as a professor and researcher from 1952 to 1986. He was the recipient of the Order of Canada (1985), the Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1998), the Order of Manitoba (2000) and the Icelandic Order of the Falcon (2000).