Prof. Gard Otis Honoured by Government of Vietnam

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Prof. Gard Otis, School of Environmental Sciences, has received a commemorative medal for work in Vietnam from that country’s minister of agriculture and rural development.

Otis was recognized for his “Beekeeping Development and Rural Extension” project. Funded through a $1-million grant from the Canadian International Development Agency, the project teaches effective beekeeping to Vietnamese farm families.

The project began in 2007 and focused on villages in north central Vietnam. It’s one of the poorest regions of the country and selling just a dozen jars of honey can provide enough income to feed a family for months. Beekeeping is a lucrative business in rural Vietnam because the honey produced in these villages is believed to have exceptional medicinal qualities.

Otis was nominated for the award by the president of the Vietnamese Beekeepers’ Association and the director of the International Cooperation Department. “I was astounded and very surprised – and pleased,” Otis said of the honour.

He will travel to Hanoi Dec. 4 to receive the award and interface with colleagues. “I am very much looking forward to seeing them and planning the next chapter of development there.”