Henry Classen completed a B.S.A. at the University of Saskatchewan (1971) and pursued graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts (M.S. 1974, Ph.D. 1977). In 1978, he returned to Saskatchewan as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, became a tenured Professor in 1986, and served as Department Head from 2006-2011. In 2013, Dr Classen was named a Distinguished Professor and initiated a 5-year term as Senior Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Poultry Nutrition.
Dr Classen’s nutritional research has focused on feeding programs and the nutritional value, anti- nutritional factors and processing of feed ingredients. He was a leader in the use of exogenous enzymes in poultry diets and his work contributed to changes in processing of canola meal worldwide. He also has a keen interest in poultry management and its impact on bird welfare. He has investigated lighting programs for broiler chickens and turkeys, beak trimming in laying hens, broiler transportation, toe treatment in turkeys, and nutritional manipulation of bird behaviour. Practical solutions to industry problems have been Dr Classen’s forte and the driving force behind his symbiotic relationship with industry and the success of the industry-funded Poultry Extension service at the University of Saskatchewan.
Believing in service to the research and teaching community, Dr Classen has made indispensable contributions to several professional organizations, including the WPSA Canada Branch and the Poultry Science Association. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of animal and avian production, environment, physiology and nutrition, and received recognition for his teaching excellence and academic paternity. Many of his graduate students have become leaders in the national and international poultry industries as well as academia. He has authored or co-authored over 160 papers in refereed journals, over 20 book chapters and review articles, and numerous industry reports. He has been invited to present his research findings at poultry meetings and scientific conferences around the world.