An Aylsham area professor at the University of Saskatchewan is one of a handful of inductees into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame for 2018.
Dr. Henry Classen will be inducted for his years of research in poultry nutrition and health. Classen grew up on a mixed farm where his family grew wheat and raised cattle, pigs and chickens. Classen looked back on his time helping his neighbour with her poultry leading to his interest in birds. He said he started working with poultry when he was young and followed through into university despite his father’s judgment.
“When I chose animals, he didn’t understand that because he liked plants better but when I chose poultry he thought I probably went off the deep end,” Classen said.
Classen, the youngest of four brothers, earned a degree in agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. He went on to get his masters at the University of Massachusetts before landing a job in the agriculture department at Penn State University. Classen has since moved back to Saskatoon to be a professor at the U of S and work in the school’s animal and poultry department. He said the freedom to work on his passion was important in his return to the province.
“At that time, I was one of two poultry faculty members, so it allowed me more flexibility to do what I wanted to do,” he said.
Classen has several published works according to his biography on the university’s website. Classen said he’s been fortunate enough to win numerous awards as well but the induction into the Sask. Agriculture Hall of Fame is special to him.
“It’s a tremendous honour to join this group of individuals that have hopefully made a difference in Saskatchewan agriculture,” he said.
Classen will be inducted alongside Doug Howe, Dr. Brian Fowler, Vern Racz and Joan Heath. The inductees were announced on Jan. 4. The ceremony will take place at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon in April.
On Twitter: @ClarkStork
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