[Light, electronic music fades in.] Dave Gehl: Vern’s top characteristics as a scientist are vision and tenacity. Michèle Marcotte: He really inspired not only one generation of research scientists… …but now we have even the second generation of research scientists and even the third generation. Narrator: He has received the order of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian science and engineering hall of fame. Twice, he has been honoured in China where he is often compared to the legendary Norman Bethune. The Chinese have even built a statue in his honour. Despite his many achievements and awards he remains his humble self. A plant breeder who specializes in oats. Dave Gehl: Vern has a very long career of developing improved varieties… …and he’s noted internationally as being a very top-notch scientist. Dr. Vern Burrows: The person that inspired me to be a scientist was my grandfather. He was a bit of an experimentalist, as well as a straight gardener. I was pretty impressed with this, that you could modify things. Michèle Marcotte: Dr. Burrows is really remarkable in terms of going from his creative mind… …elaborating concepts and then going through and really providing farmers with solutions. Narrator: Most plant breeders would consider 10 new varieties a great accomplishment in their career. Dr. Burrows has bred and registered an incredible 28 new varieties of oats. The most successful variety is his AC Gehl, also known as the naked oat. Unlike other oats, it’s hulless and hairless. These qualities make it easier and more efficient to harvest and process… …and because the hull is already gone, it’s also cheaper to transport. Yet Dr. Burrows found a way to make sure it remains high in nutrients. It may well become the crop for the future, replacing rice as a staple grain in Asia. Dr. Vernon Burrows: Nobody had really worked on the quality of the oat crop. The hull is a problem so I thought to myself I’ve got to change this… …and I went to the hulless oat, the naked oat, as we call it. We modernized it. We now have a hulless oat that’s a pretty good candidate for major utilization… …by the, not only the farming community but the food community. It’s most nutritious and easy to grow and easy to process. You know you’ve arrived when you’ve combined as many good traits as possible. I have a feeling that some of these oats will become very prominent. Narrator: Dr. Burrows is a researcher emeritus at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa. At eighty-five, he comes to work every day with a smile. He is an inspiration to his fellow public servants. He is an ambassador for Canadian science. And he is recognized for his substantial contribution to Canada and Canadian agriculture. [Light, electronic music fades out.]