Name: Stuart A. Thiesson
Convocation date: May 24, 2000
Discipline / contribution: co-operative organizations ; community service
Citation / biographical information:
A native of Saskatchewan, Stuart Thiesson was raised in the rural community of McMahon in the Swift Current area of the province. He entered into teacher training in the Moose Jaw Normal School in 1946 and taught elementary school. In 1951 he accepted a position as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer of the Saskatchewan Farmers Union and was named its Secretary-Treasurer in 1955. In 1958, he was also appointed Secretary-Treasurer of the Interprovincial Farm Union Council, later to be known as the National Farmers Union Council. Following the founding of the National Farmers Union in 1969, he was appointed its Executive Secretary. During his tenure in this position, Stuart prepared hundreds of policy papers and submissions on such varying subjects as the Constitution (Meech Lake Accord), Tax Reform, Drug Patent Legislation, Child Care Policy, Grain Handling and Transportation, Canada-U.S. Free Trade, and general farm policy to provincial and federal governments, as well as crown agencies (Canadian Grain Commission, Canadian Wheat Board, Canadian Dairy Commission, Canadian Transport Commission). He has also appeared before Senate and House of Commons committees on numerous issues and bills. He edited the National Farmers Union official publication “Union Farmers” from 1974-1981. He retired from the NFU in 1992.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Mr. Thiesson was a Founding Director of the Saskatoon Community Clinic in 1962 and served for six years as a Board member of that association. From 1961 to 1964 he served as a member of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board. In 1972 and 1977, he led NFU farmers’ delegations on agricultural tours of the People’s Republic of China. In 1986 he represented the NFU at a “For a Triumph of Peace and Security in the World” meeting in Bulgaria and in 1988 participated in a meeting of international farm leaders in Minnesota. He was a founding Board Member, in 1971, of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame and served on the Board until 1981. He served as a member of the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Agriculture from 1985-1998. He has served as a Board Member of the Saskatoon Community Health Foundation since 1990. Since 1997, he has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the National Farmers’ Foundation. In 1982 he was awarded the Century Saskatoon Agriculture Committee certificate for “good citizenship and outstanding service in the community” and in 1992 he received the Canada 125 Medal.
Degree presented by: Ernie Barber, Dean of Agriculture
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