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Longtime turf industry supporter, researcher Dr. Clay Switzer has passed away

Dr. Switzer served as Ontario deputy agriculture minister in 1980s

July 8, 2024  By Turf & Rec

Dr. Clayton (Clay) Switzer, a renowned researcher and supporter of the turfgrass industry for several decades, passed away on Canada Day, only weeks shy of his 95th birthday.

Dr. Switzer was a fixture at the University of Guelph, beginning as a lecturer in the botany department and later becoming department chair, OAC associate dean and then OAC dean. He soon afterward was appointed deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, eventually retiring from the ministry in 1989.

Upon his retirement, he founded Clay Switzer Consultants, engaging in work with the university, government and the private sector. His career was filled with several notable accolades, including induction into the Middlesex, Ontario and Canadian Agricultural Halls of Fame, recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and an honorary doctorate by Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He was also made an honorary life member of the Ontario and Canadian Golf Superintendents Associations.

A celebration of life is being planned for Dr. Switzer on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 2-5 p.m., at the Village By The Arboretum in Guelph.


To read the full obituary from Guelph Today, click here.


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