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- 2 April, 1885
The "Partners in Growth" Campaign raised over $12 million toward the cost of the Agriculture Building. Donors included faculty, alumni, students, individuals and corporations. The campaign, begun in 1986, was organized by Ketchum Canada Inc. and directed by Scott Smardon.
Bio/Historical Note: Original plans for the Agriculture Building had it joining Kirk Hall, the John Mitchell Building and Crop Science, but the architects, Folstad-Friggstad, instructed to provide “a highly visible complex for the College,” proposed a stand-alone building intended to state the importance of the College of Agriculture to the University. It is the first major building on campus clad with glass rather than brick or stone. The original structure cost $91 million and was constructed between 1988-1991. It consisted of five floors, with 164 research labs, 38 teaching labs, 182 offices, 9 classrooms, 4 computer training facilities, 6 conference rooms, and 167 controlled environment plant growth facilities. In addition it has an impressive inner courtyard, the Atrium, and is home to the Kenderdine Gallery, named in honour of the University’s first art instructor. The structure had been designed to enable future expansion, and by 2000 a sixth floor was added at a construction cost of $10 million. The new addition houses Animal and Poultry Science, Food Science, and Bioinsecticide Research.
The Better Farming Train served as an agricultural college on wheels. Sponsored by the Provincial Government and the Extension Department of the University of Saskatchewan, these trains were in common use during the summers from about 1914 - 1920. Consisting of lecture, exhibit, and demonstration cars, visitors were informed concerning agricultural products, equipment, and practices.
From 1967 to 1972, plant ecologists at the University of Saskatchewan participated in the International Biological Program. As part of this worldwide study of agricultural productivity, ecologists established the Matador field station for grassland research carried out by scientists from thirty-four countries. The field station was located near Kyle, thirty miles north of Swift Current, in an area of natural grassland that was potentially the best wheat growing soil in the brown soil zone of Saskatchewan. The land (three square miles) was originally leased for 21 years from the Government of Saskatchewan; the lease (for $1/year) has since been renewed and currently expires in 2009. The Matador Project involved the study of the total grasslands ecosystem, including the interaction of animals, plants, microorganisms, soils and the atmosphere. Robert T. Coupland, Head of the Department of Plant Ecology, served as Director of the Matador Project.