Wilf Keller - 2019 Canola Influencer Award Recipient

For the 25th anniversary of SaskCanola, we created an award to honour outstanding individuals who have been instrumental in the success of the Saskatchewan canola industry over the years. The recipients of this award have made distinguished and exceptional contributions of knowledge, education and ongoing efforts to promote canola.

Congratulations to Wilf Keller, 2019 recipient of the Canola Influencer Award!

Wilf was born in Melville Sk. He attended the U of S, receiving a doctoral degree in crop science in 1972. After spending a year as a postdoctoral scientist in Germany, Wilf was employed as a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa from 1973 to 1989 during which he actively contributed to the establishment of a plant biotechnology research program. In 1990, he accepted a position with the National Research Council of Canada in Saskatoon and served as leader for canola biotechnology research until 1999 when he assumed the position of research director. From 2008 to 2012, Wilf lead both Genome Prairie and Ag-West Bio Inc. He serves as the chair of the Agri-Food Innovation Council, and as a director for the Protein Industries Canada Supercluster and Global Council for Innovation in Rapeseed and Canola. Wilf has been actively involved in the development and application of biotechnologies for crop improvement with a focus on canola. He was a member of the research team that developed Canada’s first genetically modified canola variety in 1995. He has collaborated with numerous governments, university and industry groups and has provided training for researchers in plant biotechnology. He has led major research initiatives on the application of genomics in canola improvement, the development of industrial bioproducts from vegetable oils, and production of bioactive natural products in plants. He has given many presentations and lectures on aspects of biotechnology including public awareness and public education. In 2015, Wilf received the province’s highest honour, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. In 2017, he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame and in 2018, he was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

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Pictured, Wilf (left) receives the Canola Influencer Award
from SaskCanola director Bernie McClean (right)

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