The following article is a tribute to Dr. James Clarence Rennie, who passed away June 23, 2016.
Dr. Clare Rennie passed away on June 23, 2016, at the age of 90. He will be remembered by his many students and colleagues at the University of Guelph, in the Government of Ontario, and in Semex Alliance and by the farming public, for his friendship, his leadership, and his service to mankind. Dr. Rennie also was a devoted member of the Canadian Society of Animal Science throughout his career.
Clare studied at Guelph obtaining a Bachelor in Science, then studied at Iowa State for a Masters and Ph.D. He married his wife Shirley, and they were together for 64 years. He returned to Guelph where he taught, led research in dairy genetics and founded the first IBM computer lab on the Guelph campus, analysing production and conformation data for dairy sire evaluation, and leading in livestock improvement. As Chair of the Department of Animal Science, he recruited talented scientists and established them in a newly developed building, forming the base for one of the most influential Animal Science Centres in the world.
A builder of immense energy, Clare was instrumental in establishing the Elora Research Centre and the Arkell Swine Centre. After 22 years of service at the University, Clare became Assistant Deputy Minister of Agriculture, where he led the development of Agricultural Education Centres at the diploma level throughout Ontario, and played a major role in research direction in Ontario and Canada. He was particularly energetic in developing the Vineland and Elora Research Centres, and was in demand world wide as a speaker on science and education.
Upon retirement Clare was selected to lead a joint Semex/CIDA dairy development project in China for which he was awarded the “Friendship Award”, the highest honour made to a foreigner by the Premier of China. A member of the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame, recipient of the Queens Jubilee Silver Medal, Clare was recognized with Honourary Doctorates, and numerous awards. A friend to all he met, he influenced a wide followership with his enthusiasm, kindness and genuine devotion to making this world a better place. He is sorely missed by his dear family and by his former student and colleague. ~ Dr. Edward “Ted” Burnside, Professor Emeritus