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Photograph of Robert Smith's Long Lake farm, six miles west of Edmonton, Alberta, August 1906
Title page of Notes historiques sur les écoles d'agriculture dans Québec, by J.-C. Chapais, 1916
In this section:
The Department of Agriculture, under Minister Jean-Charles Chapais (1811-1885), was among the ministries established by order-in-council at Canada's inception on July 1, 1867. While the commercial and cultural impacts of farming were vital to the development of Canada, the agriculture portfolio was particularly important due to its broader administrative commitments, which included all manner of statistical and social cultivation. Chapais was a Cabinet minister in Canada's pre-Confederation Executive Council, and he secured his prominent post-Confederation role by acting as a delegate to the 1864 Québec Conference, where the basis of Canada's constitution was drafted. Chapais served for over two years as Minister of Agriculture before being made Receiver General, another office established by order-in-council on July 1, 1867. Chapais' son, also named Jean-Charles (1858-1946), made his own contribution to agriculture in Canada as an author of numerous works, including Guide illustré du sylviculteur canadien (1883) and Notes historiques sur les écoles d'agriculture dans Québec (1916).