Professor Emeritus, Animal Science

Harry Maxwell King was an educational pioneer in agriculture and served for 36 years as Professor of Animal Husbandry at The University of British Columbia.

Harry King was born on 28 October 1889 in Hickson, Oxford County, Ontario. He graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Toronto in 1913. He served as Agricultural Representative of the Ontario Department of Agriculture in 1913-14 and as a member of the Faculty of the Ontario Agricultural College from 1914-18. In 1918 he accepted an appointment in the recently established Department of Animal Husbandry of the Faculty of Agriculture at The University of British Columbia. He pursued Graduate Studies at Cornell University in 1923 and later at Oregon State University, from which he received the degree of Master of Science.

He became Head of the Department in 1925. From 1924-30 Professor King served as a representative of the Faculty of Agriculture on the University Senate.

Professor King was a charter member of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, and of the British Columbia Institute of Agrologists. He was a member of the American Dairy Science Association and served one year as its President. He was a Director of the Vancouver Exhibition Association (later the Pacific National Exhibition) from 1919-1973, serving as its President from 1948-50 and for one year as its General Manager.

In 1929 he went to Scotland to select the foundation herd of Ayrshire cattle donated to the University by Captain J. C. Dunwaters. This herd became the basis of selection in the extensive animal breeding program of the Department, which had a long term impact on the development of the dairy industry in British Columbia.

For many years, commencing in 1957, Professor King served as a Member of the British Columbia Milk Board. He was recognized internationally for his work as an Official Classifier of the American and of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Clubs, and as an outstanding Judge of Dairy Cattle he contributed greatly to the improvement of all breeds of cattle.

Professor King was an outstanding teacher, highly respected by colleagues and students alike. One of his first tasks at The University of British Columbia was the organization of instruction for returned soldiers from World War I, who attended vocational classes in Agriculture at the University Farm at Point Grey. He also contributed to the organization of the first off-campus short course, offered at Courtenay on Vancouver Island.

Professor King played a dominant role in development of the curriculum on a sound scientific basis, insisting that it must reach out to practical problems of importance in Agriculture. His unique service lay in his ability to select the important things to be done and in his fundamental approach to methods of teaching. Professor King made a major contribution to the development of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

Professor King died on 5 January 1983, shortly after his 93rd birthday.