Dr. Robert “Bob” A. Curtis inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame
The Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) is pleased to announce the induction posthumously of Dr. Robert “Bob” A. Curtis (1931–2019) to the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place on Thursday, October 21 in Truro, Nova Scotia and was attended by members of Dr. Curtis’ family, as well as Dr. Dan Hurnik, professor of swine health management, AVC at University of Prince Edward Island.
“Dr. Curtis had a tremendous impact on agricultural veterinary medicine in Atlantic Canada,” said Dr. Hurnik. “From 1961 to 1996, he taught the majority of agricultural veterinarians who reside in the Atlantic provinces, and as a founding faculty member of the AVC, he set the stage for a new generation of veterinarians to receive their training.”
Upon his arrival at AVC, Dr. Curtis was tasked with developing the Department of Health Management. This included assembling a team of educators to cover the health and well-being of farm animals, as well as recruiting farms to support the teaching of doctor of veterinary medicine students. Dr. Curtis loved interacting with farmers, often dropping by barnyards or industry meetings unannounced to promote participation in AVC programs. Dr. Curtis held various positions at AVC including the founding chair of the Department of Health Management, founding director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, professor, and clinician in farm services.
Dr. Curtis was a regular fixture at exhibitions, agricultural fairs, Old Home Week, and the PEI Easter Beef Show. He also invested in younger generations, dedicating his time to grassroots initiatives like 4H, and sponsoring awards and prizes to promote and support agricultural events and programs.
Through his career and into retirement, he provided countless hours of continuing education to the veterinary community. He would also give presentations to numerous private groups, including breed associations, the artificial insemination industry, and many others. Dr. Curtis was the inaugural honourary member of the Atlantic Bovine Practitioners Association, and he continued to contribute and attend meetings long after his retirement.
“Dr. Curtis’s dedication to agriculture and the veterinary community was unwavering,” said Dr. Greg Keefe, dean, AVC. “Through his example of integrity, excellence, and commitment to livestock health, Dr. Curtis has left a permanent mark on Atlantic Canadian agriculture.”
The Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the agriculture industry in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Each year, one person from each of the four Atlantic Provinces is recognized at an induction ceremony and reception, and their portraits and citations are on public display in Cumming Hall at the Faculty of Agriculture in Truro, Nova Scotia.