2006 Ms. Crystal Mackay, BSc (Agr) '92 | Alumni | University of Guelph

2006 Ms. Crystal Mackay, BSc (Agr) '92

Judy Maddren

Crystal Mackay
BSc (Agr) '92

Crystal Mackay is an outstanding candidate for the Alumni Medal of Achievement in 2006.  Since graduating with her Honours B.Sc (Agr) from the Ontario Agricultural College in 1992, Crystal has consistently led the field in agricultural communications.

Crystal's unlimited energy and enthusiasm became evident during her time at the University of Guelph when she was President of the Student Federation of OAC.  She has since continued to be involved at the University by acting as the Agrologist in Residence for OAC in 1997, as well as serving as the President of the OAC Alumni Association from 1999-2000.  Her dedication to “Aggie Spirit” and tradition is evident to those who have met her.

Following graduation, Crystal quickly established herself at the Ontario Farm Animal Council, where she worked from 1993-1997 as Program Coordinator.  During this time, she had a great deal of input into the structure and purpose of the association.  Crystal consistently demonstrated a commitment to improving public awareness and understanding of Canada's agricultural sector.  In fact, she spent over 100 days a year speaking with a wide variety of audiences, including  farmers and consumers, at events across the province.

In 1997, Crystal became increasingly focused on agricultural communications when she joined Ontario Pork as a Communications Specialist. At the same time, she also started her own company, Crystal Clear Communications, in response to requests for her expertise in agricultural awareness and education.  One of Crystal's greatest professional accomplishments was the development of the “Speak Up” team concept in 1998, which trained pork farmers to be agricultural ambassadors and media spokespeople in Ontario.  This program has, in fact, been so successful, that other organizations across Canada have asked Crystal to provide the same training to their members.

Crystal's professional success continued in 2001 with the initial production of the “Faces of Farming”  calendar which featured black and white photographs of Ontario pork producers. The calendar was subsequently re-published in 2002 and 2003; the 2002 version sold out in just under a month and was awarded the “Best in Show”  in the public relations category at the 2002 Canadian Agricultural Marketing Awards ceremony.  Crystal was also a key member of the team that developed Ontario Pork's multi-year, award-winning Farm to Fork campaign that emphasized pork producers' commitment to the environment.  Her continued dedication to advancing agricultural awareness has recently, in 2004, brought her back to the Ontario Farm Animal Council, where she is now the Executive Director.

Crystal's entrepreneurial and leadership skills have consistently put her at the forefront of the agricultural community. In 2006, the University of Guelph Alumni Association was proud to honour Crystal Mackay with the presentation of the Alumni Medal of Achievement.


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