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Karamanos, Rigas Evangelos - 2015
Keller, Wilfred Arthur (Wilf) - 2017
Kennedy, Alex - 2014
Kennedy, Peter Hugh - 1978
Kilcher, Mark - 2003
Kilden, Marie - 1985
Kimber, Clement James - 1978
Kirk, Lawrence Eldrid - 1973
Kirkland, Kenneth John - 2002
Knott, Douglas Ronald- 1995
Knowles, Robert Patrick - 2006
Knowles, Robert Gordon - 1990
Koch, Alanna Lee - 2011
Kristjanson, Leo Friman - 1990

PortraitRobert Patrick Knowles

Born at Unity in 1919 and raised on the family farm, Bob Knowles established a world-wide reputation as a pioneer in the development of grass breeding techniques and the breeding of 10 superior grass cultivars. He obtained his BSA (1941) and MSc. (1943) degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. He served as a lieutenant in the Canadian army in 1943 and 1944. In 1950 he earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin.

He joined the staff of Agriculture Canada’s Saskatoon Research Centre as a research scientist in 1941. In 1964 he began 11 years as head of the crops section. He was promoted to principal research scientist, a position awarded to only the top five percent of scientists in the Research Branch. In 1985 he was named emeritus scientist and served as adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

In 1985 he received the Canadian Seed Trade Association Seed Achievement Award. In 1987 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan. He was made a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the highest award given in his profession of agrology. Internationally, in 1996 he received the Distinguished Grasslander Award for his work as a forage scientist.

Development of a perennial forage grass often involves 10 to 20 years of selection and evaluation. Bob Knowles produced an exceptional 10 new grasses, and these make up the large portion of forage grass seed produced in Canada today. He developed Summit crested wheatgrass (1953), Carlton smooth bromegrass (1961), Chief intermediate wheatgrass (1961), Magna smooth bromegrass (1968), Parkway crested wheatgrass (1969), Signal smooth bromegrass (1983), Kirk crested wheatgrass (1985), Fleet meadow bromegass (1986), Paddock meadow bromegrass (1986), and Radisson smooth bromegrass (1989). Most of these cultivars are still grown throughout Western Canada and several of them are used across Canada.

Bob was in demand as a speaker at farm and industry meetings on grass seed and forage crop production. He was consulted by municipalities, rural and urban, about grass varieties to seed in parks and roadsides.

He published more than 140 scientific and technical articles including frequently cited studies on grass breeding methods.

In his will he bequeathed a substantial contribution to the University of Saskatchewan to establish the Robert P. Knowles Scholarship to support graduate students in plant breeding, hence his legacy continues.

Sponsored for the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 2006 by
the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Center, SECAN,
SW Seeds and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.

 

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© 2016 Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame