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The Department focuses on the growth, management and use of agriculturally important plants, particularly the application of scientific principles, technology and crop management strategies. Its intent is to provide students with a theoretical background as a foundation for a career in horticulture, plant pathology and related fields. Although it considers professional training its primary objective, the Department encourages research through master and doctor of science programs (PACCR, 1986). The Department was created by the 1944 amalgamation of the Departments of Field Crops (founded 1917) and Horticulture (1935). It was the parent of the Department of Genetics, which separated from the Department of Plant Science in 1961 to be located in the Faculty of Science. Heads, Department of Field Crops: 1917-1927 Garnet Homer Cutler; 1927-1932 Robert Newton; 1932-1935 Olaf Sverre Aamodt; 1935-1941 Kenneth William Neatby; [1941-1944] Arthur Gilbert McCalla (Acting). Heads, Department of Horticulture: 1915-1935 George Harcourt; 1935-1944 James Sheldon Shoemaker. Heads, Department of Plant Science: 1944-1951 Arthur Gilbert McCalla; 1951-1961 John Unrau; 1961-1970 William George Corns; 1962 Mary E. Spencer (Acting); 1968-1969 William Peter Skoropad (Acting); 1970-1975 William H. Vanden Born; 1975-1980 Peter D. Walton; 1980- William Peter Skoropad; 1982-1987 William H. Vanden Born; 1987- Keith Briggs.