William Lowrie

William Lowrie

William Lowrie (18 October 185720 July 1933) was an Australian agricultural educationist.

Lowrie was the son of a shepherd, and was born near Galashiels, Selkirkshire, Scotland, in 1857. He was brought up on a farm and had sufficient schooling to be able to enter the University of Edinburgh. He graduated M.A. in 1883, and obtaining a Highland and Agricultural Society's bursary in 1884, studied agriculture and graduated B.Sc.

In 1887 Lowrie was appointed principal of the Roseworthy Agricultural College, South Australia, where he made a special study of the effects of fallowing and the use of water soluble phosphates as manures. Following this Lowrie travelled throughout the wheat-growing districts of South Australia, addressing farmers and endeavouring to persuade them to adopt his methods. In 1901 he went to New Zealand as principal of the Lincoln Agricultural College, and seven years later became director of agriculture in Western Australia where his brother-in-law, Newton Moore, was premier. In 1909 he declined the offer of the chair of agriculture at the University of Sydney. He returned to South Australia in 1912 as director of agriculture, but resigned in 1914 owing to differences of opinion with the minister for agriculture regarding the reorganization of the department. After his retirement Lowrie took up farming at Echunga, South Australia on the property 'Battunga', and specialized in pure-bred Border Leicester sheep.

Lowrie died at Echunga on 20 July 1933. Lowrie did excellent work, especially in South Australia; no man of his time did more to make farming payable. A bust of him, by Marguerite Richardson, is at Roseworthy Agricultural College.


*Dictionary of Australian Biography|First=William|Last=Lowrie|Link=http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogL.html#lowrie1
*Alan W. Black, ' [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A100156b.htm Lowrie, William (1857 - 1933)] ', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, MUP, 1986, pp 160-161.

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