Thursday, June 27, 2024 9:54 AM
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SASKATOON, SK – JUNE 27, 2024: The recipient of the Les Henry Award has been presented to its inaugural winner, Dr. Jeff Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan professor and Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Research Program Chair in Soil Nutrient Management. Schoenau was chosen as the recipient by the late Les Henry himself in April 2024.

The Les Henry award recognizes a recipient in Western Canada that provides excellence in soil and water science and its application in the farming community. The Henry legacy, passion, and integrity in agriculture will be carried forward with this annual award.

Before his passing on June 14, 2024, Les Henry spoke on the reasoning behind choosing Schoenau as the recipient.
“Jeff has been a leader in the soil science department and is doing research and extension that really matters to farmers and agronomists. He is always willing to speak at a public meeting and share down to earth soil information. Jeff represents unparallelled passion, teaching, and speaking that endears him to his students and farming community. He has made significant contributions in soil science and to the lives of those he has touched.”

Henry was a renowned soil scientist in Saskatchewan and Professor Emeritus at the University Saskatchewan. He received many honours and awards throughout his career including Induction in the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan. He authored “Henry’s Handbook of Soil and Water” and contributed columns to the Grainnews newspaper for 48 years.

“I am very saddened by Les’s passing, but I want to make folks aware of the huge difference that he made in my career as an inspiration and as a mentor,” said Schoenau. “From the simple words of advice he gave me, to the wide wealth of knowledge in soil fertility, Les made a huge difference in Western Canadian agriculture. Especially in his later years pursuing research in hydrology and salinity, he has greatly inspired me to incorporate that into my own investigations throughout my career. It is an honour to receive this award and Les will be greatly missed.”

Cory Willness, CEO of Croptimistic Technology, presented the award and stated “As a student of both Les and Jeff, it is my honour to present the inaugural winner. Les’s choice to recognize Dr. Jeff Schoenau for this award speaks to the level of passion (exclamation on passion!) and influence that Jeff has carried throughout his career so far. We are thrilled to see this award go to someone so deserving.”

Henry’s Handbook of Soil and Water and the Les Henry Award are managed under copyright by Cory Willness of  Croptimistic Technology Inc. “Les was a good friend and mentor of mine and has influenced much of the work we do at Croptimistic Technology related to understanding soil variability and fertility and applying precision management to the farming landscape,” said Willness. Read more on the legacy of Henry’s Handbook here.

“I transferred the copyright to Cory and with great glee he will continue the legacy of Henry’s Handbook long after I am gone” said Les in his last recorded interview.

Orders for Henry’s Handbook can be made online at

About Croptimistic Technology Inc.: Croptimistic Technology Inc. is an international AgTech company providing SWAT MAPS, a turn-key variable rate process that combines data layers of Soil, Water, And Topography (SWAT) into a soil based management zone map and process. Their SWAT ECOSYSTEM of hardware, software, support and training is adopted internationally. Learn more about SWAT MAPS by visiting


For more information, contact:

Cory Willness
CEO, Croptimistic Technology

Croptimistic Technology Inc. is an international agriculture technology (AgTech) company. We began operating in 2018. Croptimistic is supported by a growing team of professionals who have dedicated their careers to developing the best soil mapping software and hardware in the world.
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