Harvey joined the University of Saskatchewan (USask) in 1966, quickly advancing through the university tenure system from associate professor in 1969 and full professor in 1975. He served as assistant dean of the College of Agriculture from 1980-1983, and head of the Department of Crop Science and Plant Ecology and Crop Development Centre director from 1983-1994. He acted as the Department of Horticulture Science chairman from 1994-1999, later moving to the office of the vice-president of research to serve as coordinator of agriculture research from 1997-2002, acting vice-president of research from 2002-2003, and special advisor to the vice-president of research until his retirement in 2005.
Harvey is the author of eight books and book chapters relating to cultivar development and almost fifty refereed journal publications. He bred or co-bred over 50 barley varieties, several of which have played a major role in the brewing industry in North America, Latin America, Asia and South Africa.
Two of his varieties, Harrington and CDC Copeland, received Seed of the Year honours in 2009 and 2019 respectively, highlighting their importance in the seed industry and to crop production in Canada. Harrington barley remained in production for over 25 years being grown on over 60 million acres and having an estimated value of over $15 billion. CDC Copeland continues to dominate the malt barley industry demanding almost fifty per cent of the malt barley acreages in Western Canada for the past fifteen years.
Harvey’s contributions to the agriculture industry have not gone unnoticed. He received honourary life memberships from the Saskatchewan and Canadian Seed Growers Associations, and the Saskatchewan Agricultural Graduates Association (SAGA). He also received fellowships in the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA).
Harvey was also awarded the Alumni Achievement Award by the USask Alumni Association and an Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award from the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) and the Master Brewers Association (MBA).
In 2005, Harvey received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and was officially inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2006. The Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA) awarded him the Clark-Newman-Clayton award for exceptional contribution to Canadian pedigreed seed production and the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) honoured him with their highest honour, the Presidential Award. In 2007, Harvey was appointed to the Order of Canada, recognizing him for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
In 2012 Harvey was one of 57 Saskatchewan residents given the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, marking the celebrations of the queen’s 60th anniversary on the throne and honouring an individual’s significant contribution and achievement to Canada.
Harvey was also an original member of the University of Saskatchewan Sodbusters group, whose vision for Saskatchewan was to construct the largest agriculture teaching and research facility in Canada. A true Saskatchewan story of communities coming together, the group’s fundraising abilities resulted in the construction of the Agriculture Building and a legacy for the future of agriculture on the University of Saskatchewan campus.
View the press release from the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame at cahfa.com.https://www.cahfa.com/en-us/news/four-influential-leaders-join-canadian-agricultural-hall-of-fame-in-2020