Margaret Newton is an example of just how important genuine PUBLIC agricultural scientists were to society--not that long ago.
She was born in Montreal in 1887.
Margaret became the first woman to graduate from her college with a degree in agriculture. She fought the sexism of her day but still had to use the research facilities at night in order to graduate.
Only men can do research during the day after all.
She focused her studies on wheat rust, discovering different virulent forms existed. This was a major advancement of the time. There had been major epidemics of wheat rust in Canada in 1916, 1919 and 1921. The government decided to set her up in her own "Rust Lab" to solve the issue.
Typical. The old boys asking a woman to solve the rust problem.
She was so bad ass that Vavilov (Badass Farmer Vol. 6) asked her to move to Leningrad!
Margaret became the second woman accepted into the Royal Society of Canada and was recently recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government.
She also loved canoeing.
Margaret Newton, Bad Ass Farmer!