John Toogood spent his formative years in the dry dustbowl days of the Dirty Thirties, and the
images of billowing clouds of soil drifting across the land must have made a significant impression on the young
One of the most prominent and influential soil scientists in all of North America, Toogood
received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1948, and spent 30 years at the University of Alberta Soil
Sciences department working tirelessly to improve agricultural production through research into soil testing and
fertility, erosion control, production systems and agrometerology.
Toogood was involved in a wide range of research relating to soil stability and preservation;
his early water erosion research was the first of its kind in Alberta and several extension bulletins and booklets
were landmark publications.
The simplified textural triangle, proposed by Toogood in 1958 and widely adopted across Canada,
is now gaining international usage. His foresight was critical to the preservation of the Breton Soil Fertility Plots,
a critical tool used to gauge long term agricultural practices on land.
Toogoods influence on a generation of Alberta soil scientists was marked through his 15-year
long tenure as department head (1959-69), and later department chair (1969-74), at the University of Albertas Soil
Toogood was an active participant in professional activities, especially with the Alberta
Institute of Agrologists (A.I.A.). He started in 1951 as Treasurer of the Edmonton Branch; in 196768 he held
the position of President of the A.I.A; 196869 Past -President; and from 197478 he served as Vice-President of
the International Society of Soil Science and Chairman of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 11th International
Society of Soil Science Congress held in Edmonton in June 1978. He received the A.I.A.s Distinguished Agrologist
Award in 1993.
On 11 November 1998, Toogood passed away at the age of 83 years.
Toogood was posthumously inducted into Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2000 and the
Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame in 2001. His picture has been added to the Conservation Hall of Fame Honour
Wall in the Sir John Carling Building in Ottawa.
Toogoods soil textural triangle is part of many soil classification courses across Canada,
and has been adapted for international use.
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