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Abrey, Neale - 1998
Adams, Nancy - 1980
Anderson, Boyd - 1987
Barry Andrew - 2016
Appleby, Frank - 1975
Atkinson, Roy - 1990
Auld, Hedley - 1973
Austenson, Herman Milton - 1999

Portrait

Herman Milton Austenson

Herman Austenson, crop scientist and administrator, was born at Viscount November 28, 1924 . He earned his BSA in 1946 and MSc. in 1948 at the University of Saskatchewan , followed by his PhD at Washington State in 1951

He devoted more than 40 years to teaching, research and extension in agronomy, 14 years at Cornell and Washington State universities and 26 years at the University of Saskatchewan . Coming to Saskatoon in 1966 he rose to become head of the Crop Science and Plant Ecology Department and from 1975-83 director of the Crop Development Centre. He remained a professor of crop science until his retirement in 1992 and then was appointed professor emeritus.

His capacity for skilful, patient and dogged negotiation was instrumental in garnering financial support for crop research in western Canada . He campaigned with farmers for their support of a checkoff system on wheat and barley to finance research funding. At the same time he sold the idea to governments. As a result the Western Grains Research Foundation was formed with $1 million funding from the remainder of the Prairie Farm Emergency Fund. Herman was executive director of the WGRF 1989-96 and eventually realized his dream of a producer grain checkoff to finance research.

He negotiated acquisition of additional land for university research, specifically the Goodale and Kernen crop research farms. This land base has been important in development of grain varieties.

Herman conducted research into the effects of fertilizer, crop rotations, green manure crops, continuous cropping and intensive management on the yield and quality of crops. He promoted conservation tillage at a time when this was not in vogue. He did important work on winter wheat production in Saskatchewan , showing how tender varieties could be brought through winter if tillage practises encouraged maintenance of an insulating layer of snow. He received an award from the 1983 Western Canada Winter Wheat Conference for this work.

In 1978 Herman's expertise in agronomy was clearly shown in his book, "Principles of Agronomy with Special Reference to Saskatchewan Conditions." He published numerous scientific and popular research articles. His knowledge and experience was invaluable in his supervision of a number of graduate students.

His work in rural extension won for him the Outstanding Extension Award from the Canadian Society of Agronomy, 1983. In 1984 he was named a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and in 1987 an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Seed Growers Association.

He died March 27, 1997 .

Sponsored for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 1999
by the College of Agriculture , University of Saskatchewan ,
the Crop Development Centre and the Western Grains Research Foundation.

 

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© 2016 Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame