Better know a Canadian functionary: officers of the Central Experimental Farm

Between its founding in 1886 and its reorganization in 1959, one of the major subdivisions of the federal Department of Agriculture was the Central Experimental Farm, which controlled the lion’s share of government scientific research before the establishment of the National Research Council, and for quite some time afterward as well.

Titles of chiefs of the specialist divisions in the Central Experimental Farm usually stuck to the form of “the Dominion Thing-the-guy-does”. We’ve already covered some of them: the Dominion Cerealist, the Dominion Dairy Commissioner, the Veterinary Director-General.

One of the oldest of these posts was that of the Dominion Botanist, created when John Macoun was appointed to the post as the Department’s plant expert in 1882. Macoun was replaced by James Fletcher, who was also made Dominion Entomologist. By 1952 it was renamed the Chief of Botany and Plant Pathology Division.

The Dominion Botanists were:

John Macoun, 1882-87.
James Fletcher, 1887-1908.
Hans Theo Gussow, 1908-45.
John Hubert Craigie, 1945-52.
W.F. Hanna, 1952-58.

After James Fletcher’s death in 1908, the office of Dominion Entomologist, an expert in insects, was separated from the Dominion Botanist. The Dominion Entomologist was renamed Chief of Entomological Division in 1950.

The Dominion Entomologists were:

James Fletcher, 1887-1908.
Charles Gordon Hewitt, 1909-20.
Arthur Gibson, 1920-24.
Henry Gordon Macgregor Crawford, 1924-50.
Robert Glen, 1950-57.
Beverly Northcott Smallman, 1957-59.

One of the major divisional chiefs had been the Dominion Chemist, the head of all the chemical research laboratories.

The Dominion Chemists were:

Frank Thomas Schutt CBE, 1887-1933.
Clifford H. Robinson, 1933-49.
James C. Woodward, 1949-55.
A.R.G. Emslie, 1955-59.

The office of Dominion Horticulturalist was split from the Dominion Botanist in 1910. Its specialty was in flowers, shrubs and other decorative plants.

The Dominion Horticulturalists were:

William Tyrrell Macoun, 1910-33.
Malcolm Bancroft Davis, 1933-55.
Hinson Hill, 1955-59.

The office of Dominion Agrostologist, also known as Chief of the Forage Division, was split from the Dominion Botanist in 1912. Its job was similar to that of the Dominion Cerealist, except that the Agrostologist focused more on legumes and grasses grown for feeding livestock. The Dominion Agrostologist was changed to the Head of Grass, Legume and Pasture Research Unit in 1957.

The Dominion Agrostologists were:

Malte Oscar Malte, 1912-21.
G.P. McRostie, 1922-30.
Lawrence Eldred Kirk OC, 1931-38.
Trueman M. Stevenson, 1938-57.
J.E. Ross Greenshields, 1957-59.

The Dominion Apiarist (also sometimes referred to as the Dominion Apiculturalist) was split from the Dominion Entomologist in 1914. The Dominion Apiarist studied bees, both for improving honey production and to improve methods of pollination.

The Dominion Apiarists were:

Frederick William Lambert Sladen, 1914-21.
Charles B. Gooderham, 1921-49.
C.A. Jamieson, 1949-58.

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