Throughout his 40 year science career, Wilf led many major research initiatives. These included the application of genomics in canola improvement; the development of industrial bioproducts from vegetable oils; and production of bioactive natural products in plants for enhanced human health and quality of life.
Wilf grew up in Melville, SK. He earned a PhD in Crop Science at the University of Saskatchewan, followed by postdoctoral studies in Germany. He worked at Agriculture Canada in Ottawa from 1973-89, where he pursued research on cell genetics of selected Canadian crops and contributed to the establishment of a plant biotechnology research program, which he chaired from 1980-89. In 1990, he accepted a position with the Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI) of the National Research Council of Canada in Saskatoon and served as group leader for canola biotechnology research and head of the Transgenic Plant Centre until 1999, when he assumed the position of research director. In 2007 he took a one-year posting as the acting director general of the PBI, then served as president and CEO for Genome Prairie From 2008 to 2012. Along with his position as president and CEO of Ag-West Bio Inc, Wilf recently assumed the role of Chair of the Agricultural Institute of Canada.
In 2010, Wilf was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Society for In Vitro Biology. In 2015, he received the province's highest honour, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.