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Alberta's Scientific Heroes

William Fairfield

Born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, William Fairfield earned degrees in both agriculture and horticulture from the University of Wyoming. He established a ranch near Lethbridge in 1901 and was the first trained agriculturalist in Alberta. The Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company placed Fairfield in charge of an experimental farm, where he remained Superintendent from 1905 to 1945.   

William Fairfield was an important figure in agriculture and introduced the concepts of trash cover, strip farming and crop rotation. He discovered that adding sulphur to the grey-wooded soils significantly increased productivity. William Fairfield received an Honorary Doctor's Degree form the University of Alberta. He was granted the Order of the British Empire by King George VI in 1953. In 1961, Fairfield was honoured with the fellowship in the Agricultural Institute of Canada.


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