A Fine Band of Farmers are We!
294 pages
English

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294 pages
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Description

This history of agricultural studies in KwaZulu-Natal over a period of 75 years, from 1934 to 2009, gives a detailed overview of the establishment of formal agricultural studies in the province and focuses on the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Alumni of "AgFac", as it was affectionately known, have made their mark in agricultural research not only in South Africa but also internationally.

Today the School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness, which replaced the old "AgFac", has extended into the sociological and ecological significance of agriculture for the continent as a whole through its African Centre for Food Security (ACFS), and the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI). Much attention is also being paid to the improvement and popularization of traditionally useful food and craft plants indigenous to Africa.


Chapter 1 The Faculty Established: 1934 - 1949

Chapter 2 The Faculty Consolidated: 1949 - 1966

Chapter 3 Expansion, Rationalisation and the End of Duality: 1966 - 1976

Chapter 4 Evaluation, Maturity and Financial Crisis: 1976 - 1988

Chapter 5 Re-Appraisal And Forward Planning: 1988 - 1998

Chapter 6 A New Beginning: 1998 - 2009

Conclusion A Fine Band of Farmers Indeed!

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Publié par
Date de parution 16 novembre 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781991225603
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 6 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,125€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

A Fine Band of Farmers Are We! Bill Guest
This history of agricultural studies in KwaZulu Natal over a period of 75
years, from 1934 to 2009, gives a detailed overview of the establishment of
formal agricultural studies in the province and focuses on the Faculty of
Agriculture at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Alumni of “AgFac”, as it
was aff ectionately known, have made their mark in agricultural research
not only in South Africa but also internationally. A Fine Band of
Today the School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness, which replaced
the old “AgFac”, has extended into the sociological and ecological signifi cance
of agriculture for the continent as a whole through its African Centre for Food Farmers Are We!Security (ACFS), and the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI).
Much attention is also being paid to the improvement and popularization of
traditionally useful food and craft plants indigenous to Africa.
“Bill Guest’s scholarly research confi rms that the original AgFac model, and
its new millennium successor have much to be proud of ... it is therefore both A History of Agricultural Studies
t mely and a cause for celebrat on that Bill Guest’s scholarly book is available
for all those with an interest in the topic, as well as future scholars. This book in Pietermaritzburg
also comes at a t me when the achievements of the old order tend to be
ignored, downplayed or even misrepresented ... congratulat ons to the author
and to the publisher.” 1934 – 2009
(Prof. (Emeritus) B. Nigel Wolstenholme)
W.R. (Bill) Guest is a Professor Emeritus
and Senior Research Associate in Historical Bill Guest
Studies on the Pietermaritzburg campus of
the University of KwaZulu-Natal. A doctoral
graduate of the Howard College (Durban)
campus of the former University of Natal,
he has published a variety of art cles and
authored, co-authored and co-edited ten
books on South African history, focusing
primarily on the Natal-Zululand region.
(Photo: Cynthia Guest)
Occasional Publications of
The Natal Society Foundation.
PIETERMARITZBURG
ISBN: 978-0-620-48422-0A Fine Band of
Farmers Are We!
A History of Agricultural Studies
in Pietermaritzburg
1934 – 2009
Bill Guest
Occasional Publications of The Natal Society Foundation
PIETERMARITZBURG
2010© Bill Guest 2010
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any
form or by any means, without reference to the publishers, the Trustees of The Natal
Society Foundation, PO Box 11093, Dorpspruit 3206 Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Published by the Trustees of The Natal Society Foundation in 2010 as the frst in the
new series “Occasional Publications of The Natal Society Foundation”.
Natal Society Foundation website: http://natalia.org.za/
Editor: Peter Croeser
Design & layout: Jo Marwick
Body text: Calibri 10.5pt
Front & footnotes: Times New Roman 10pt
Photograph acknowledgements:
Cover Photograph: Ukulinga Research and Training Farm.
All photographs: Courtesy of UKZN Archive and Celebrating 60 Years of Agriculture
(Pietermaritzburg, Faculty of Agriculture 60-year Commemorative Brochure, 2008).
ISBN: 978-0-620-48422-0CONTENTS
Foreword .............................................................................................. iv
Abbreviations .......................................................................................... vi
Acknowledgements .................................................................................. viii
Chapter 1 The Faculty Established: 1934 – 1949 ................................. 1
Chapter 2 The Faculty Consolidated: 1949 – 1966 ............................... 23
Chapter 3 Expansion, Rationalisation and
the End of Duality: 1966 – 1976 .......................................... 67
Chapter 4 Evaluation, Maturity and
Financial Crisis: 1976 – 1988 ............................................... 101
Chapter 5 Re-Appraisal And Forward Planning: 1988 – 1998 ............. 153
Chapter 6 A New Beginning: 1998 – 2009 ........................................... 216
Conclusion A Fine Band of Farmers Indeed! ......................................... 252
Deans of the Faculty of Agriculture/ Science and Agriculture ............... 265
Bibliography ............................................................................................ 266
General Index ........................................................................................... 272iv
FOREWORD
After a prolonged gestation, outlined in Chapter 1 of this book, the frst agricultural
students for a B.Sc. Agric degree enrolled for their frst year science courses in
1947. The following year saw the frst courses offered in the new Faculty of
Agriculture. A small band of agricultural academics, representing the main
production disciplines plus supportive disciplines unique to the Pietermaritzburg
campus, bunkered down in Spartan conditions in the old military hospital at
Oribi. They were appointed with dual loyalty as civil servants, paid by the Union
government, but in other respects full university academics. The National Party
was about to come to power, and the country was fnancially squeezed.
What came to be known as the “AgFac”, a term of affection as well as abuse
depending on one’s viewpoint, in reality ceased existence as a Faculty in its own
right in 1999. Major organizational changes in the University led to abolishment
of all Departments, consolidation of Faculties (hence the new Faculty of Science
and Agriculture), and establishment of Schools of like-minded disciplines. Old
AgFac departments were allocated to several Schools in the new Faculty, with
most landing in the School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness. Hence,
when 60 years of agricultural education were celebrated in November, 2008, the
commemorative booklet was titled “Celebrating 60 years of agriculture”, rather
than 60 years of AgFac. The University of Natal had become the University of
Kwazulu-Natal in 1999 after merging with the University of Durban-Westville.
When, at the time, I found myself on a nostalgic visit to Ukulinga Research Farm
and seated next to well-known historian Prof. Bill Guest, I wondered what attracted
him to an agricultural occasion. I learnt that he was working on a research project
– the history of agricultural studies on the Pietermaritzburg campus. His sources
were mainly the University Archives and library collections, with many gaps. He
was seeking the help of past and present AgFac academics and students for their
recollections, insights and opinions, and stories to provide a more human face to
an academic treatise. This was indeed welcome news, for many of us “old timers”
had bemoaned the absence of such a work.
My personal association with the AgFac, as student and academic, was from 1955
through 1999 (one year as Honorary Research Associate) and therefore entirely
with the now defunct Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Natal.
Today, a whole host of Centres and Programmes, often with strong environmental
and sociological underpinnings, impinge on agricultural education in the broad
sense. In the School Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness, the African Centre
for Food Security, and African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) have been
particularly successful in attracting donor fnance and students. The end result
was the virtual disappearance of the old AgFac collegiality, with a very different
student in a very different milieu (I hasten to add, a no less worthy student!).v
There are those (and I am one) who worry about the change of emphasis away
from the core B.Sc. Agric. degree (and the reduction in students with the science
and mathematics background and desire to tackle this degree). The result is a
drying up of well-trained animal, crop, horticulture and pasture scientists and
technologists, plus supportive scientists from more basic disciplines. These
scientists are increasingly needed to keep our agriculture competitive as we head
towards projected climate change and world food shortages. Radical change at
UKZN since 1999 has produced both winners and losers.
Bill Guest’s scholarly research confrms that the original AgFac model, and its
new millennium successor have much to be proud of. It is remarkable how many
AgFac innovations were later adopted by the University as a whole, including
semesterization, student councils, student course evaluations, and supplementary
examinations (a mixed blessing). The frst two AgFac Associate Professors in the
University went on to much greater things – Pete Booysen to Vice-Chancellor
during challenging times, and Malcolm Sumner to a distinguished career in
Soil Science at the University in Georgia. Brian Roberts founded the land care
movement in Australia and received national honours. Many other examples could
be cited. Let us take from the past what was good (and there was plenty), and build
on it.
It is therefore both timely and a cause for celebration that Bill Guest’s scholarly
book is available for all those wi

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