By Jim Knisley
November 7, 2011 – Influential Canadians Dr. David Chalack, Laurent Souligny and Frank Stenger have joined the ranks of Canada’s most exceptional individuals as the 2011 inductees into the prestigious Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. The formal induction ceremony took place November 6, 2011 at the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame awards banquet in Toronto, Ontario.
“This year’s inductees have added significantly to the strength and development of Canada’s agricultural industry,” says Cam Dahl, president of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association (CAHFA). “Through leadership and a lifelong commitment to a vibrant agricultural sector, David Chalack, Laurent Souligny and Frank Stenger continue their work and dedication to Canadian agriculture. CAHFA proudly recognizes their contributions with this highest honour.”
Laurent Souligny was nominated by the Egg Farmers of Canada. Souligny has spent most of his life directly involved in agriculture, much of it based in St. Isidore, Ontario, the home of the Souligny farm and a community where he and his wife Hélène still reside.
Laurent started farming in 1964 and in 1973 became involved in farm organizations when he joined the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. His advocacy on behalf of Canadian farmers continued, ultimately leading to Laurent becoming the Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada, a position he held for 11 years. He served as a member of the Board of Egg Farmers of Canada for 24 years.
Laurent’s goal as Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada was to ensure a strong future for every part of the egg industry in Canada. He represented egg producers both in Canada as well as internationally, frequently travelling abroad to defend the interests of the sector. Laurent’s tireless work on behalf of his industry led to his selection as Chair of the organization representing the five supply-managed industries.
Laurent’s work on disease mitigation led to the Start Clean-Stay Clean™ program, the egg industry’s HACCP-based, on-farm food safety system – a program that is considered among the best in the world. Laurent helped establish Egg Farmers of Canada as a leader in traceability. He was instrumental in ensuring that egg producers are adequately compensated when disease does strike, a fact that will benefit generations to come.
Laurent reached out to international bodies such as the United Egg Producers to help promote scientific research on the nutritional benefits of eggs. In 2010 he oversaw the creation of a special research Chair at the Université Laval that focuses on the economics of egg production. The Research Chair on the Economics of Egg Production helps explore issues like the benefits of improved disease control, the potential impacts of international trade agreements, and the costs and benefits associated with reducing the carbon footprint of the egg industry. A research chair focused on nutrition is soon to be established because of his focus on research.
Laurent Souligny’s legacy in Canadian agriculture will continue to grow well into the future.