N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 11, 1956
Discipline / contribution: agriculture ; public service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor: I present to you a distinguished Canadian citizen and public servant who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of agriculture in Saskatchewan and in all Canada.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Mr. Taggart graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College in 1912. After being employed for a short time by the Ontario Department of Agriculture he came west to Alberta where he taught in the agricultural schools of that province, finally serving for two years as principal of the school at Vermilion.
When the Swift Current Experimental Farm was established by the Canada Department of Agriculture Mr. Taggart came to Saskatchewan as superintendent. Under his vigorous leadership this farm soon became known far and wide as a source of valuable information. I will mention a few of the important studies on farm problems which he initiated and which have been found to be of great value. Some of these were, fundamental studies on the problem of control of wind erosion of soil, the development and testing of tillage machinery for specialized purposes and the extensive program of improvement of forage production, including range management, particularly in the drier areas of the province.
The effect of the Swift Current experience on Mr. Taggart is still noticeable, Eminent Chancellor – I can assure you that he can still give an excellent rendition of “Home on the Range” - even in the dignified and perhaps austere atmosphere of the City of Ottawa!
In 1934 Mr. Taggart entered a different sphere of public service. In that year he was elected to the legislature and for the next decade was Saskatchewan’s Minister of Agriculture.
During the Second World War, Mr. Taggart held many positions of importance in Canada. He was Foods Administrator under the Wartime Prices and Food Board, Chairman of the Meat Board, and Chairman of the Agricultural Prices Support Board. For these and other services he was elected a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada and appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Since l949 Mr. Taggart has been deputy minister of agriculture for Canada, a post in which he continues to serve agriculture with great distinction
Eminent Chancellor: for distinguished service to Canadian agriculture, I present James Gordon Taggart and ask that you confer on him the degree of doctor o± laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: V.E. Graham, Dean of Agriculture
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