Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture

Three women to join Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame this year

June 15, 2017
By Jannen Belbeck Avatar photo

Robynne Anderson began her long and distinguished career in Canadian agriculture as a legislative assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, working on the new Plant Breeder’s Rights Act. Her knowledge of agriculture and experience in government set the course for creating Issues Ink – her consulting firm that worked closely with the Canadian Seed Trade Association. Robynne founded and published several agricultural magazines including Germination, Spud Smart and CAAR Communicator (for the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers). Robynne now operates Emerging Ag – a agricultural consulting firm. Throughout her career, Robynne has worked throughout the value chain in the agriculture and food sector, in Canada and internationally. Robynne Anderson lives in Calgary, Alta., and was nominated by the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, the Canadian Seed Trade Association, SeCan Association and Stokes Seeds.

Livestock photographer Patty Jones has built a world-renowned business with a seasoned skill for photographing dairy animals that has changed the way they are marketed in Canada and around the world. For more than 44 years, Patty has been expertly capturing a visual history for Canadian dairy breed improvement as one of the most respected and well-known livestock photographers in the world. Her library contains more than 70,000 animals from all breeds, and she’s trained many aspiring livestock photographers to carry on the craft. Her official photographer status extends to major shows, including 4-H and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Patty’s passion for the dairy industry includes her own Silvercap Holsteins farm where she buys, sells and breeds. Patty Jones lives in Puslinch, Ont., and was nominated by Semex.

For more than 25 years, Jean Szkotnicki has led the Canadian Animal Health Institute skillfully balancing the responsibility of advocating for Canadian veterinary pharmaceutical companies with livestock producers. A champion for antimicrobial stewardship, Jean has been instrumental in ensuring antimicrobials are used properly as part of a “one health” approach to human and animal antibiotic use in Canada. Jean laboured exhaustively to close the regulatory gap on Own Use Importation legislation. She’s passionate about building public trust in food and sits on numerous industry boards including the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity and as chair of the animal health product regulatory advisory committee to Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Jean Szkotnicki lives in Moffat, Ont., and was nominated by the Canadian Animal Health Institute.