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Memorable Manitobans: Robert A. “Bob” Hedlin (1921-2004)


Born at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 5 January 1921, the second child of Frans and Margery Hedlin, he grew up on a farm near Watrous, Saskatchewan and for three years worked full time with his father on the farm. In 1941, he began his university studies, earning degree at the University of Saskatchewan (BSA), University of Alberta (MSc), and University of Wisconsin at Madison (PhD). After completing his doctorate in 1950, he moved to Winnipeg to take up an assistant professorship in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba, serving as department head for 27 years. He was the first agriculturist to recognize that fallowing land was not essential in cropping systems in Manitoba. He introduced the concept of continuous cropping, which was the foundation for a doubling in agricultural production in the period between 1970 and 1980, and initiated and fostered research in soil testing. The tests developed under his leadership are widely used for agronomic recommendations as well as for environmental assessments and monitoring. He supported teaching and research in soil science locally and internationally, with departmental staff being part of teaching and research programs in developing countries. He retired in 1986. While in Wisconsin, he met Alice Jeanette Pearson (1924-1974), a nurse from Moline, Illinois, and married her on 17 June 1950 at Winnipeg. They had three children. On 11 October 1975, he married Irene Artes (?-?). He died on 20 November 2004 and was buried in the Thomson in the Park Cemetery.


Obituary [Alice Jeanette Hedlin], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 May 1974, page 21.

Robert A. Hedlin, BillionGraves.

Canadian Obituary and Death Notice Archive.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 February 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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