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Professor of Dairying
Vice PrincipalQualificationsNational Diploma in Agriculture (honours)
National Diploma in Dairying (honours)
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from GlasgowAboutWilliam Riddet was born and educated in Scotland. He proved to be an excellent academic, gaining honours in the National Diploma in Agriculture and National Diploma in Dairying before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Glasgow.
After seeing military service in the First World War he found work in extension and education in Scotland, before being appointed to the Chair of Agriculture at Auckland University College in 1925. When he arrived in New Zealand he recognised the value of creating a single agricultural college of merit and joined forces with Geoffrey Peren to help establish Massey Agricultural College.
In 1927, Riddet was appointed Director of the Dairy Research Institute (DRI), as well as being made Professor of Dairying, holding both positions until his death. This ensured close co-operation between the College and the DRI in the field of dairying, and Riddet was also a major influence on academic policy at the College.
Riddet was described as 'the founder of dairy science in New Zealand', and is remembered for his 30 years of work for the College and the DRI. He was one of only a few individuals from his era who possessed scientific knowledge and understanding of both milk production on the farm and milk processing in the factory.
He pioneered the use of the electric fence and seemed to possess an almost endless supply of new ideas when looking for answers to problems. He founded the Dairy Science Association, Dairy Factory Managers' Week and the Dairy Farmers' Conference in the 1930s. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the British Society of Dairy Technology and was made a CBE in 1954. He died in 1958.Awards and honoursGold Medal of the British Society of Dairy Technology
Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1954Sources
Marsden, Lucy, Courtney, Lesley & Bartleet, Michael, Floreat Agricultura: A History of Agriculture and Horticulture at Massey University 1927-2002, p. 19
Riddet, W., A review of some aspects of the work of the Dairy Research Institute (New Zealand), 1931