Donald W. Lazenby

Year of birth: 1938

Inducted in 2004

Origin: Oxford County

Nominated by: CanWest DHI

Specialty: Genetics, Livestock - Dairy, Organizations

Donald W. Lazenby's career is characterized by innovation and systems development for the dairy industry in Ontario and Canada. He made major contributions to dairy herd management through design, development and delivery of herd management products and services. He developed the national Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) computer software program and the Vision 2000 national milk recording database. These innovative programs allow producers to customize services to meet their individual needs and have led to the highest enrolment levels in the history of Ontario DHI.

Don Lazenby used his persuasive interpersonal and consensus building skills to explore ideas and implement them within the changing dairy industry. He led his peers in designing standardized reports to provide flexible and practical analyses for managing dairy herds. The new 'Hot Sheet' reports permit quick identification of possible problem animals, assisting large herd operators to manage by exception.

Mr. Lazenby led a project to design Canada's first Herd Automated Recording Program, to streamline and simplify the identification of Holstein cattle in Ontario. It provides performance and genetic information as components of a dairy animal identification and tracking system envied across North America. In addition, Don was central to the implementation of the Canadian Milk Recording Information Project, the Milk Urea nitrogen testing service, the DairyComp 305 herd management program, delivery of DHI information over the internet, an Electronic Barn Sheet System and a Linear Score on the Somatic Cell Count report. The industry standards he designed have brought robotic milking systems into the North American DHI system and resulted in a significant increase in herd enrollments in Canada.

As Chairman of the Board of Ontario DHI, Mr. Lazenby took the lead in merging the Ontario and National Record of Performance programs and opening two milk testing laboratories. He was also part of the Planning Committee for the 1994 meeting of the International Committee for Animal Recording.

Don Lazenby organized an educational program to expose all Oxford county Grade 5 students to the dairy industry. Don Lazenby served as Advisory Board Member for Fanshawe College. He also initiated the Junior Farmers’ Century Farm Sign project in 1966. He was awarded the Ontario Bicentennial Certificate of Merit, the Ontario Junior Farmers’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the Canadian 4-H Council Leadership Award and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Co-op Education program. With the Holstein Canada prefix 'Northlea', his own herd has won numerous Star Brood Cow and Production Awards.