University of British Columbia, 1950, BSc, Agriculture (Agronomy)
University of Idaho, 1952, MSc, Forestry


William L (Bill) Pringle was born in 1924 in Vernon, BC. He obtained a BSA (Agronomy) in 1950 and after graduate work at the University of Idaho obtained an MS in Forestry (Range Management) in 1952.

From 1952- 1965 Bill was a Research Officer at the Range Research Station, Kamloops, where he supervised test plots on five Illustration Stations and conducted pasture and forage testing. In addition he was involved with aerial seeding of forage on burned forest land, grassland range seeding, weed control, tree forage competition studies and improvement of Cariboo native wet meadows. In that position he published several Bulletins and popular articles.

1965- 1966 was spent with the FAO, Izmir, Turkey, at the Plant Introduction Centre as a Range Ecologist. This involved Bill in forage plant collection and testing. A paper based on that work was later published in the Journal of Range Management (1968), “Grazing Potential of Aegean Turkey”. Bill took his expertise to the Research Station, Beaverlodge, Alberta, in 1967 where he spent the next twelve years as a Biological Investigator, working on pasture and range research and forage production and utilization, including grazing studies. A major project was an assessment of the agricultural potential of the Slave River Lowlands. While in that position he was seconded at times to the Canadian Wildlife Service, Soil Survey, and Department of Northern and Indian Affairs. This allowed Mr Pringle to become a specialist in Northern Agriculture. A highlight of his career at that time was his selection as plenary speaker at the X111 International Grassland Congress in Leipzig in 1977. The paper he presented was on “The Grazing Values of the Boreal Forest and Tundra Regions.”

In 1979 Mr Pringle was appointed Superintendent of the Agriculture Canada Experimental Farm, Prince George, BC, a position that he held until 1986. As well as supervising 15 staff he conducted pasture and steer feeding trials. During a productive career with the Research Branch of Agriculture Canada he published 20 scientific papers, 19 miscellaneous papers and 4 major land use study reports.

In 1986 Mr Pringle took up a two-year posting as Forage Crop Advisor with CIDA, at the BARD (Barani Agricultural Research and Development Program), National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan. There he helped establish a forage plant introduction and testing program, along with proper measuring and evaluation techniques. Also, he developed and demonstrated forage harvesting, preservation and utilization methods and helped assess range and watershed areas and advised on their value and proper use.

Since retiring officially in 1988 he has conducted a study for the BC Ministry of Economic Development 1991 on “A case for Reclassification of Plains Bison from Game to Livestock.” As a CESO (Canadian Executive Service Overseas) volunteer he has conducted an assessment of pasture and hay production on the Sea Bird Island Native Reserve and has helped the Dog Creek Indian Band put forward a proposal to take over the ranching operation on the Empire Valley Ranch which had become part of the Churn Creek Protected Area.

In recognition of his dedicated career in public service Mr Pringle was awarded a Government of Canada Long Service Award in 1987. He resides in Salmon Arm, BC, with wife Sybil and they have a son (Edward) and a daughter (Donna).

Recollections of student life at UBC include “the Student Tour by CPR Train to Agassiz Experimental Farm and a lecture by Harold Hicks on the value of Clydesdale Horses; the Aggie Common Room and the shenanigans that occurred there; Hut 24 as a Horticulture Lab and lectures by Dr Bert Brink bringing Ecology to life; Dr Stan Woods’ animal science lectures; trying to make it from a lecture in Ag 100 to the field house or barns half a mile away in time to get to another class; and coping with a heavy snowfall in 1949. It is now over 50 years since my attendance at UBC. Time has dulled the old memory and so only a few of the highlights remain. As I remember it, ours was a very personalized education. Classes were small and Professors were dedicated and interested in each student’s well being. Those were the days!”

R Blair 2001

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