It took a far-sighted and committed man from across continents to shape Karnataka’s formal farm education. Leslie C. Coleman, an entomologist and scientist from Canada, began his career in the State as its first ever entomologist and mycologist in 1908.
Five years later, he became the first director of the independent Agriculture Department.
He took over as the first principal of the Mysore Agricultural School in Hebbal shortly thereafter.
Later, he was instrumental in establishing the agricultural college which finally became the agricultural university.
One of his significant achievements, as the State’s agricultural director from 1913 to 1934, was systematic reorganisation of the Agriculture Department.
University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore records say Dr. Coleman was so popular among farmers as a scientist and an agricultural administrator he became a legend during his lifetime. Farmers remember him to this day as they still use the Bordeaux mixture spray developed by him to protect areca from the ravaging kole roga (black rot).
He was instrumental in establishing the Coffee Experimental Station in Balehonnur besides taking up several studies to help fight diseases affecting coffee.