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Dr. Bruce Coulman has played a pivotal role in advancing Saskatchewan’s and Canada’s forage and livestock sectors

Dr. Bruce Coulman, a University of Saskatchewan alumnus and professor emeritus in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, has been inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to Canadian agriculture. Coulman is a highly respected leader and award-winning forage crop researcher whose work has advanced Canada’s forage and livestock industries and enhanced Saskatchewan’s international reputation.

Coulman’s impact on sustainable agriculture and global food systems extends beyond Canada. Through quiet leadership, collaboration, and mentorship, he has made significant international contributions, fostering networks and empowering others to address agricultural challenges. The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame recognizes Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the agriculture and food industry. Coulman and three other agriculture champions will be officially inducted at a ceremony on November 2, 2024.

He developed leading varieties of crested wheatgrass (Goliath and Newkirk) and the world’s first bloat-reduced alfalfa (AC Grazeland). This alfalfa variety, when mixed with grasses, helped livestock producers reduce pasture bloat by over 60 percent, significantly impacting the beef industry. Coulman also pioneered the first hybrid bromegrass, a versatile grass suitable for both hay and pasture, widely planted in Western Canada and the northern United States.

At USask, Coulman started as an adjunct professor for 12 years before becoming a full professor in 2005. From 2005 to 2013, he served as head of the Department of Plant Sciences and played a key role in establishing the successful forage breeding program at the USask Crop Development Centre.

As a widely recognized scientist with extensive publications, Coulman’s research outputs are freely accessible, benefiting knowledge seekers without access to subscription-based journals.

In addition to his plant breeding work, Coulman has educated, mentored, and supervised numerous students and researchers, many of whom now hold leadership roles in the industry as researchers and agrologists.

Throughout his career, Coulman cultivated enduring relationships within the forage industry and actively engaged with producers. He played pivotal roles in founding the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) and the Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission (SFSDC). His efforts laid the groundwork for producer leadership and the expansion of crop production systems.

Coulman’s exceptional contributions to Saskatchewan’s forage industry and Canadian grassland agriculture have earned him national and international recognition. He has been honoured with prestigious awards, including the Canadian Plant Breeding & Genetics Award from the Canadian Seed Trade Association in 2008 and the Leadership Award from the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association in 2015. He was also recognized for his significant agronomic achievements by the Canadian Society of Agronomy, receiving a Fellowship in 1997 and later the Distinguished Agronomist award in 2020. In 2024, Coulman was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Source: University of Saskatchewan