Updated: Nov 2
Influential researcher and leader, Christie helped shaped modern farming in both Canada and the United States.
1881-1953 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
George I. Christie divided his career between Canada, his country of birth, and the United States.
Born in Winchester, Ontario, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Ontario Agricultural College in 1901. In 1903, he completed post-graduate work at Iowa State College, and then worked there for two years as an agronomy assistant.
Christie moved to Purdue in 1905 and rose to the position of director of extension. As Indiana State Food Director, he investigated the discovery of the European corn borer in the U. S. in 1917, and then during World War I, he spent time in Washington, D. C., first as assistant to the secretary of agriculture, then as deputy secretary of the cabinet.
He returned to Purdue in 1920, to direct the Agricultural Experiment Station. President Coolidge considered him for the post of Secretary of Agriculture in 1925, the same year he received an honorary doctorate from Iowa State.
George Christie crossed the border once again in 1928 to accept the post of President of Ontario Agricultural College, where he served until 1947.
Did You Know?
The Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) originated at the agricultural laboratories of the Toronto Normal School, and was officially founded in 1874 as an associate agricultural college of the University of Toronto. Since 1964, it has become affiliated with the University of Guelph, which operates four campuses throughout Ontario.