Tagged: Department of Agriculture

Better know a Canadian functionary: more officers of the Central Experimental Farm and the Department of Agriculture Science Service

This is a continuation of an earlier post I made on this subject, which you can find here.

In 1886 Parliament authorized the Department of Agriculture to establish a nationwide system of experimental farms to work on ways to improve all aspects of agricultural production in Canada. The main farm was the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, which still exists today as a National Historic Site even though the city has long since grown up around the farm and the land must be worth a fortune by now.

The original head of all projects conducted by the Experimental Farms Service was the Dominion Agriculturist, a post originally filled by the Farm’s director, the agricultural chemist William Saunders. The Dominion Agriculturalist was soon after joined by the Dominion Botanist, moved under the Farm’s command from elsewhere in the Department of Agriculture in 1887; the Dominion Chemist, created in 1887; the Dominion Poultry Husbandman, created in 1888; the Dominion Cerealist, created by William Saunders in 1910 for his son Charles; and the Dominion Horticulturalist, which was split off of the Dominion Botanist in 1910.

In 1912, the office of the Dominion Agriculturalist was split into two jobs: the Dominion Animal Husbandman, who handled the raising of animals, and the Dominion Field Husbandman, who handled not only vegetable crops, but also the physical aspects of farms, such as drainage and soil engineering. (“Husbandman” is an archaic word for a farmer, from a lesser-used verb form of “husband” meaning “to manage”.) In that same year, the Dominion Agrostologist was split from the Dominion Botanist to study grasses and other forage crops. The Experimental Farms Service set up a Tobacco Division in 1913, then established the Dominion Apiarist to study bees in 1914. The Farms Service ran its own Extension & Publicity department from 1914 until it was merged into the Department of Agriculture’s publications service in 1935. (“Extension” is the process of educating farmers on technological and scientific advancements.) In 1915, the Farm started an Illustration Stations Service, where ordinary farmers could let the government take over a bit of their land and use the latest crops and techniques in order to show off how much better they were to the surrounding community. Another major new department of the Experimental Farms Service came in 1917, with the Economic Fibre Production Division, concerning the growth of plants used in textile production, such as flax. Finally, the Farm set up a Bacteriology division in 1923 to investigate various diseases and fermentations.

In 1937, the Department of Agriculture expanded its Entomology Branch (founded in 1914) and founded the Science Service for its more laboratory-oriented research interests, moving the Chemistry, Botany and Bacteriology divisions from the Experimental Farms Service and merging the latter with the office of the Dairy and Cold Storage Commissioner to form the Bacteriology & Dairy Research Division. The Science Service was then run separately from the Experimental Farms Service, although the Science Service headquarters was moved to the Central Experimental Farm in 1947.

In the Experimental Farms Service, the Economic Fibre Production division was merged into the Field Husbandry division in 1952, and the Poultry Husbandry division was merged into the Animal Husbandry division in 1957. Finally, in 1959 both the Experimental Farms Service and the Science Service were dissolved and reformed as the Research Division of the Department of Agriculture.

The Directors of the Experimental Farms were:
William Saunders, 1886-1911.
J.H. Grisdale, 1911-19.
Edgar Spinney Archibald, 1919-50.
E.S. Hopkins, 1950-55.
Cyril Harold Goulden, 1955-59.

The Dominion Agriculturalists were:
William Saunders, 1886-90.
James W. Robertson, 1890-96.
William Saunders (acting), 1897-98
J.H. Grisdale, 1899-1912.

The Dominion Poultry Husbandmen were:
A.G. Gilbert, 1888-1913.
F.C. Elford, 1913-37.
G. Robertson, 1937-46.
H.S. Gutteridge, 1946-57.

The Dominion Animal Husbandmen were:
Edgar Spinney Archibald, 1912-20.
George B. Rothwell, 1920-31.
G.W. Muir, 1931-51.
H.K.C.A. Rasmussen, 1951-59.

The Dominion Field Husbandmen were:
J.H. Grisdale, 1912-19.
Edgar Spinney Archibald, 1919-20.
E.S. Hopkins, 1920-46.
P.O. Ripley, 1946-59.

The Chiefs of the Tobacco Division were:
Felix Charlan, 1913-24.
C.M. Slagg, 1924-28.
N.T. Nelson, 1928-46.
Norman MacRae, 1946-59.

The Chiefs of Extension & Publicity for the Experimental Farms Service were:
J.F. Watson, 1914-17.
W.A. Lang, 1917-21.
F.C. Nunnick, 1921-35.

The Supervisors of the Illustration Stations Division were:
John Fixter, 1915-27.
J.C. Moynan, 1928-53.
A.E. Barrett, 1953-59.

The Chiefs of Economic Fibre Production were:
G.G. Bramhill, 1917-18.
R.J. Hutchinson, 1918-52.

The Directors of the Department of Agriculture Science Service were:
J.M. Swaine, 1937-46.
K.W. Neatby, 1946-58.
Robert Glen, 1958-59.

The only Dominion Agricultural Bacteriologist was Allan Grant Lochhead, 1923-37.

The Chiefs of the Bacteriology & Dairy Research Division (Bacteriology Division after 1953) were:
Allan Grant Lochhead, 1937-56.
H. Katznelson, 1956-59.

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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.