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Education

UBC, 1951, BSc, Agriculture

About

“I grew up on a small ranch at Lac la Hache, southeast of Williams’s Lake and completed my high school in Vancouver. In September of 1947 I enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at UBC and passed a fairly unremarkable 4 years of study. I don’t think any of my professors would have remembered me within a couple years of graduation.

On graduation I went to work for Nicola Lake Stock Farms, one of British Columbia’s bigger outfits. The newly appointed manager had undertaken to oversee my training as a ranch manager. He lasted to the end of haying and I was left as one of the hired hands in the bunkhouse with no mentor.

Following that I returned to UBC and enrolled in a Masters program under Dr Alec Wood. After two years, during which I married Lois Wood daughter of Dr S.N. Wood, I found myself facing yet another year of study. On the advise of the famous Dean Gage whose comment, on reviewing my record was “I don’t think you are quite research material” I dropped out and looked for work.

In October of 1954 I joined the British Columbia Department of Agriculture as an extension worker and worked in that capacity for 9 years, at Kamloops, Duncan, Quesnel and Dawson Creek In the latter posting I was responsible for developing an agricultural extension television program. For the 18 months I was there I produced a half hour weekly show, live and on-air, which I enjoyed doing very much. It was exciting as I never knew for sure what my guests would do. Every show involved improvisations in the effort to bring farming into a 20 by 30 studio. (It was a first at Dawson Creek but not in BC – the credit for developing the first show goes to a District Horticulturist at Kelowna who got me going by using me as a guest host).

In October of 1964 I joined the Country Guide publication as an Associate Editor at Winnipeg. In that job I discovered how little I had known or understood of Canada from my BC perspective. I learned a lot more about both Canada as a country and agriculture as an industry as I traveled after stories from BC to Quebec. I call that time my real post-graduate training.

By now I had developed the idea of using my experience in both journalism and extension to work in agricultural extension communications. I applied for and got the job of Supervisor (later Director) of Communications for the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture. I stayed with the Department of Agriculture until March 1993, when I took early retirement.

After retirement I turned my garage into a shop for old boats and furniture. I do some hiking in the mountains and we both enjoy traveling (the photo was taken in Tunisia) and visiting friends and family in BC.”

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

LFS Alumni & Community Engagement
Tel: 604-822-0599
Email:
Contact: Caely-Ann McNabb
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
248-2357 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604-822-1219
Fax: 604-822-2184
Email:
Dean: Dr. Murray Isman

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