This Week in History
The "Wheat Wizard"
For the week of Monday December 9, 2002
On December 15, 1961, Seager Wheeler, arguably the most celebrated farmer from the Canadian prairie provinces, died at the age of 93. Wheeler is recognized as a pioneer in agricultural research and is best known as an international prizewinner in wheat growing competitions. His success popularized the Canadian prairies as a place to live and work, and increased the sale of Canadian wheat worldwide.
In 1904, Wheeler began selectively breeding spring wheat, developing such strains as Red Bobs, Kitchener, and a superior strain of Marquis. His 10B Marquis was adopted by the Canadian Seed Growers Association as the foundation for all registered Marquis. Between the years 1911 and 1918, Wheeler’s hard spring wheat varieties won him an unprecedented five international wheat growing championships, a record that still stands. Scientists, universities and farmers throughout North America and the United Kingdom requested the seeds from his wheat varieties. Wheeler’s work also included the development of horticultural varieties such as the Saskatchewan Crabapple and the Seager Wheeler Rose.
For his contribution in the development of the Canadian West, Seager Wheeler was designated a person of national historic significance in 1976. Seager Wheeler’s Maple Grove Farm was commemorated in 1994.
For more information on Seager Wheeler and the Seager Wheeler Maple Grove Farm, please see: The Seager Wheeler Farm site.
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