Professor Stanley Slinger has a long association with Guelph and the Poultry Industry. He studied Poultry Science, obtaining the BSA degree in 1937 and the MSA in 1941. He worked in the Department of Poultry Husbandry from 1940 to 1964, first as a Research Assistant, but moved rapidly through the academic ranks becoming a Professor. He became Chairman of the Department of Nutrition in 1964 and served in this capacity for two five-year terms. He retired in 1979, and has been Professor Emeritus since then.
Dr Slinger's career as a nutritionist covered the exciting half century of progress which saw the base of poultry production change from mystique and husbandry, to science and technology. When Dr Slinger began his career the formulation of successful diets depended upon the inclusion of ingredients to provide "growth factors", and there was no appreciation of the importance of dietary energy. By the time he retired all the essential nutrients had been identified, many were available in concentrated form, and 'nutrient dense' diets were the standard for the industry. Stan Slinger was one of the few scientists who ensured that Canada stayed with the leaders of these developments and because of his own research efforts he established himself as a leader amongst poultry scientists in the World.
From 1940 to 1964 Dr Slinger worked with the Department of Poultry Husbandry, later Poultry Science, carrying out research, teaching undergraduate students the science of poultry feeding and guiding graduate students as they developed their research skills. A major aspect of his responsibilities was extension and he played a role in the industrialization of poultry production within the Province of Ontario, and through his work as consultant throughout the World. After being appointed Head (later Chairman) of the Department of Nutrition, he was responsible for initiating a new undergraduate degree programme, and a greatly enlarged graduate programme. Many of the leaders in the animal feed industry in Canada owe much to Dr Slinger for their training.
The research endeavours which have interested Stan Slinger include the definition of the 'growth factors' necessary for successful poultry production. This research was completed with the characterization of vitamin B12 and opened the way for formulation of nutrient dense diets to support the greatly enhanced levels of productivity upon which the poultry industry is prospering. Provision of nutrient diets required a knowledge of the energy value of potential feed ingredients and raised questions about the interactions between ingredients during digestion and the additivity of component energy values. Stan Slinger pioneered the biological assessment of metabolizable energy values of feed ingredients fed in practical diets developing data which are still in use today.
Investigations of wheat milling by-products as poultry feedstuffs showed that their bulk was a problem limiting their value to the birds. Stan Slinger found that pelleting the by-products ld to an improvement in their utilization. This work was extended to show that steam pelleting complete diets improved their value to the birds, and poultry feeds are now routinely pelleted. Rapeseed meal was a potential protein source for livestock, but its low energy value, imbalanced amino acid profile and the presence of toxins limited its value for poultry. Stan Slinger played a central role in the research efforts within Canada in the 1960's to identify these problems and provide guidance to plant breeders and crop processors to enhance the nutritional value of the oilseed meal. The successful culmination of this work was the establishment of a crop of such vastly improved quality that it is produced and marketed as 'Canola'. The canola meal is now recognized as a valuable feed ingredient.
His research has been documented in over 250 articles in refereed scientific publications, and he has been a distinguished lecturer and visiting scientist internationally.
Professor Slinger's accomplishments have been recognized by the many honours and awards which have been conferred upon him by Industry and Academia. In 1956 he received the American Feed Manufacturers Association Award. The Canadian Feed Industry Association presented him with their 'Golden Award' in 1979. He has been made a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of canada, of the Poultry Science Association and the American Institute of Nutrition. The Canadian Government gave him a Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal. The Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences gave him their prestigious Earle W. McHenry Award in 1983, and MacDonald College of McGill University gave him their Crampton Nutrition Award in 1984.
Throughout his career Stan Slinger has been a vigorous leader, and has been a stimulating teacher, researcher and colleague. The poultry industry has been well served by his presence, and his ideas.
Nominated by Canada