by Clive Dalton
Malcolm Tait was born a “Geordie” on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne, and after leaving school was able to claim “Northumbrian” status through his early work experience on farms at Rothbury and Stocksfield.
He graduated in agriculture from Kings College, Newcastle, (then the University of Durham), followed by a PhD on sheep nutrition under the supervision of Prof. Mac Cooper. The field work for his Ph.D was conducted at Cockle Park, and living in the ancient tower made him very aware of the significance of that rugged edifice in the defence of Northumberland and the sovereignty of England. He reckons that he served a three-year sentence in the “Tower”, followed by being sentenced to transportation to the 'colonies'!
His colonial sentence was to British Columbia, Canada, where he emigrated as a result of Mac Cooper’s worldwide communication network with Blythe Eagles, Dean of Agriculture at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Malcolm’s initial two-year contract became a very fulfilling and lifelong career in teaching and research in Agriculture at UBC.
His main research interests were the effects of processing grain supplements on the nutrition of ewes and lambs, and copper deficiency and toxicity in beef cattle and sheep. He is now in busy retirement where his special interests continue to be all things agricultural, Rover cars, and tracing his ancestors throughout the Scottish borders.
Malcolm has contributed a magnificent post to Woolshed 1 on the history of the Shorthorn Cattle breed and one of the pioneers of Northumbrian agricultural innovation Thomas Bates.