2020 Canola Award of Excellence Winner: Dr. Don Flaten
Throughout his career at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Flaten has taught soil fertility courses educating a large number of both Diploma and Degree agriculture graduates. His soil fertility and crop nutrition management research has spanned across a number of crops working collaboratively with others. For example, in canola specifically they’ve looked at canola fertilization with novel fertilizers and combined fertilizers looking at toxicity risks and the crop response.
“Don is a brilliant, talented and enthusiastic researcher and educator,” says Dr. Cynthia Grant, recipient of the 2019 Canola Award of Excellence. “I have always admired not just his scientific contributions, but also his dedication in supporting his students and colleagues. Don is one of the kindest and most unselfish people I have ever met. It has been a privilege and a pleasure working with him through the years.”
In addition to research and teaching, another important aspect of Dr. Flaten’s job is the extension work he is involved in. This includes working on events like the Manitoba Agronomist Conference, speaking at Manitoba Ag Days or at Soil Fertility meetings, and delivering the annual Soil Fertility refresher course to former students.
“I’m very grateful to receive the Canola Award of Excellence,” says Dr. Flaten. “The Award indicates that I might have helped the canola industry and that’s the purpose of my job. It’s to help others whether its students or members of the industry through teaching, research or extension. My goals is to help others and if this help has been recognized as a positive thing than I’m delighted.”
Dr. Flaten earned his B.Sc. (Ag.) at the University of Saskatchewan and his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba and began his career as a district agriculturist for Alberta Agriculture. Next, he became the provincial soil specialist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture before joining the University of Manitoba faculty.
Dr. Flaten grew up wintering in Saskatoon and summering on the farm near Weyburn Sasktchewan. He is now full time teaching in the research department of soil science at the University of Manitoba and will retire later this year.
Manitoba Canola Growers would like to thank Dr. Flaten for his contributions to the sustained growth and prosperity of Manitoba’s canola industry.