Kirk, Lawrence Eldred, 1886-1969 (Dean of Agriculture)

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Kirk, Lawrence Eldred, 1886-1969 (Dean of Agriculture)

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Lawrence E. Kirk was born 27 May 1886 at Bracebridge, Ontario. His family moved to Belmont, Manitoba in 1892; ten years later they moved again, to a homestead north of Arcola, Saskatchewan. Because of a lack of educational opportunities, Kirk did not complete high school until the age of 24. He enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan and earned a BA (1916), BSA (1917) and MSc (1922). His PhD was granted by the University of Minnesota in 1927. Kirk joined the faculty at the U of S in 1917 as an Instructor in Agronomy, and was appointed Professor of Field Husbandry in 1922. Kirk quickly gained recognition for his work in plant breeding, and developed a number of new forage crop varieties. In 1931 he was appointed Dominion Agrologist and Chief of the Forage Crops Division in Ottawa. He returned to Saskatoon in 1937 as Dean of Agriculture, a position he held until 1947. From 1947 to 1955 Dr. Kirk was Chief of the Plant Production Branch in the Agriculture Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. He retired to Saskatoon but remained active, serving as a member on the South Saskatchewan River Development Commission; the [Royal] University Hospital Board; and as member and chair of the U of S Board of Governors. Kirk was also the first president and founder of the U of S Alumni Association. Among the many honours bestowed upon Dr. Kirk was a LL.D. from the U of S in 1949 and the Order of Canada in 1968. Kirk died in Saskatoon in 1969.

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