Professor Rayner moved to Saskatchewan in 1914 to take a position with the province’s Department of Agriculture. In 1918 he joined the Department of Extension at the U of S. By 1920 he was the department’s director, a position that he held until his death in 1952. His role in agricultural extension was instrumental in disseminating the modern agricultural practices of the time to Saskatchewan’s farming community. He also had a lifelong dedication to the youth of the province, being a founding member and director of Saskatchewan’s Boys’ and Girls’ Club, a forerunner to today’s 4-H Council in the province.
“We’re so proud to have this unique facility coming to life here in the heart of our city campus,” said Mary Buhr, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “The unique public viewing gallery and interpretive centre will attract our neighbours and visitors from near and far and educate them on where our food comes from, using the dairy system as a model.”
“The outreach, education and dedicated use of our agricultural resources honours John Rayner’s legacy, which still resonates with the college’s ongoing mission and the university’s signature area of Agriculture: Food and Bioproducts for a sustainable future.”
Buhr added that the new facility was founded on the same principles of education and outreach that John Rayner championed during his lifetime.
In addition to being the home for innovative and effective teaching and research for animal health, nutrition, management and applied engineering, the Rayner Dairy Research and Teaching Facility will include a viewing gallery that will accommodate public access and education on modern dairy and agriculture systems. The facility will enhance the University’s outreach at many levels, helping connect youth to agriculture and train industry partners, while also showcasing Saskatchewan excellence to visiting delegations.
Construction of the Rayner Dairy Research and Teaching Facility on the University of Saskatchewan campus (corner of Preston Ave and East Road) is well under way with completion expected early 2013.