Sigurd (Sig) Peterson was born in Scandia, Alberta, and graduated with a BSc (Agr) with a Major in Animal Science in 1948. In a distinguished career with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Sig held a number of positions such as District Agriculturist in Creston and Courtenay, Director of the Development and Extension Branch, Director of Production Services and finally Deputy Minister. For varying periods he also held the posts of BC Supervisor of 4-H Clubs, Chairman of the Provincial Agricultural Aid to Developing Countries Fund, Chairman of the BC Agriculture Coordinating Committee and Vice-President of the Agricultural Research and Development Corporation.
Other service to the agriculture industry included membership of the Canadian Agricultural Research Council, serving as a Director of the BC Institute of Agrologists and as President of the Agricultural Institute of Canada.
Mr Peterson received many honours during his career. He was elected a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Society of Extension and of the Canadian Seed Growers Association. Awards received included the Distinguished Service Award from the BC Fruit Growers Association, Agrologist of the Year Award from the BC Institute of Agrologists, Distinguished Graduate award from Augustana University College (Camrose, Alberta), Distinguished Graduate Award from the UBC Agriculture Alumni Association, the Queen Elizabeth Silver Medal from the Government of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal for Service to Canada and a Meritorious Service Citation for 35 years of Loyal and Devoted Service to the Government of British Columbia.
Sig has fond memories of his time at UBC from 1945-1948. “What I remember best from my first year was the large number of war veterans on campus, many of us still in part uniform. In the minds of many veterans was the lingering feeling that we probably wouldn’t stay long at UBC; it seemed a rather genteel existence compared to what we had so recently left. But most of us did stay for three or four years and never regretted doing so. Also, I remember how young the university students in their second or third year seemed to be even though many of us were only a few years older. What I most appreciate from those years was the many friendships quickly made with classmates; lasting friendships that I have enjoyed ever since. Due to the maturity of post-war students there was a lot of good humour in the Aggie Common Room, often at the expense of the professors. I suspect this hasn’t changed. How could we forget the Aggie Ball and a much-liked Prof dressed in a tux gaining entrance through the window of the White Rose Ballroom. Or Prof Lloyd mopping up his desk after a live chicken lecture; the superb lectures of Prof Biely in his rapid fire delivery punctuated by “see what I mean” after every second or third sentence. Do you also remember Dr Jack Berry’s super-sized hands holding up notes while he lectured us on production records; all the time being sketched by Stan Burke of CBC fame? Or Dr Alex Wood’s intimidating formulas of complex nutrients that covered the entire blackboard. Daily chicken “a la king” at the bus stop, cheap but tiresome after the 10th consecutive serving, the only alternative being the “caf” where I went to look at the co-eds. Found one from Home Ec and married her and lived happily together ever after. UBC was a memorable experience coupled with a lasting gratitude to those who taught us so well”.