Food Centre President, Dan Prefontaine, inducted to the 2019 Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Dan Prefontaine on being inducted to the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame. This award recognizes agricultural leaders who are making significant contributions to the welfare and improvement of Saskatchewan agriculture. Dan has been a strong advocate for the value added sector. He strongly believes in the potential of our agriculture industry in Saskatchewan and has shown this by supporting entrepreneurship and commercialization of food product ideas in his 35 plus years in the food industry.
Dan has been leading the Food Centre since 2000. The Food Centre provides vital services, expertise and facility for Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry to add more value to what they grow. Under Dan’s leadership, the Food Centre has assisted over 300 companies in the development and processing of new food products, with over 800 new products utilizing Saskatchewan based agricultural inputs. The Food Centre has expanded from a 10,000 square ft processing facility that primarily focused on meat processing to a 43,000 sq ft facility called the Agri-Food Innovation Centre, which can accommodate a wide variety of agricultural products: food, fibre, cereal and pulse processing, fruit and vegetable processing, etc.
Dan spearheaded the development and construction of the new facility to increase and enhance the Food Centre’s capabilities to support agribusinesses, entrepreneurship, and commercialization of Saskatchewan food products. He worked tirelessly to secure financial assistance from funding agencies and private companies in the construction of the new facility. This new milestone will help drive innovation in the agri-food sector and encourage expansion of the food and agricultural processing industry in Saskatchewan.
Under Dan’s leadership, the Centre’s reputation has grown exponentially not just locally but internationally.The Food Centre has fast become the place to visit for international agribusinesses, government leaders, and trade missions. The Centre hosts over 50 tours and visits annually by international organizations, companies and institutions; and they see the direct involvement of the Food Centre in the agriculture industry and our respected role in value added opportunities. In turn, many large multinational corporations have solicited the services of the Food Centre to develop food products using Saskatchewan grown ingredients that they may not have considered.
Dan’s contributions to Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry is extensive and significant. The Food Centre is very proud. Congratulations Dan!