Dr. Eugene Hausknecht Lange was born October 16, 1905 in Russia. He received his early education in Europe and the United States. He married Lillian Louise Schroeder and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret and a son, Frederick.
A University Gold Medal winner, Eugene graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Manitoba in 1933. He obtained his M.Sc. from McGill University in 1939 and an honourary doctorate from the University of Manitoba in 1981. From the outset of his career in extension with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture, his mission was to provide farmers with the latest information and technology. His expertise was animal science, but he kept abreast of all aspects of agriculture.
Eugene was appointed Principal of the Agriculture and Homemaking School, Brandon in 1950. He extended the existing program while developing new courses which included citizenship and leadership training. He endeavoured to instill in every student a sense of responsibility and a realization of their obligations to their community and country.
In 1952, Eugene was appointed the first Director, School of Agriculture, University of Manitoba. Under his capable direction the philosophy and content of the program changed completely. Greater emphasis was placed on farm business management and marketing for the graduates returning to the farm. Technical skills were coupled with leadership and citizenship training to provide students with a complete education. His innovation led to a cooperative training program with agribusiness, thereby enhancing the value of the Diploma course to industry. Many of the leaders of rural Manitoba today gained their interest and skills under his tutelage. His personal interest in each individual student was legendary.
Prof. Lange was invited to advise and assist the Nova Scotia Agricultural College to develop a similar program for agriculture in the Atlantic region in 1965-66. As a result of this endeavour, he was made an Honourary Associate of the Nova Scotia College in 1979.
In 1971, Prof. Lange was appointed by the Canadian International Development Agency (C.I.D.A.) as a member of a Canadian team travelling to Kenya to report and make recommendations on Kenya’s need for technical teacher training. Subsequently many Kenyan students attended and graduated from the Diploma course at the University of Manitoba.
Prof. Lange’s advice on organizational and leadership skills was sought by the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists, the Canadian Society for Rural Extension, the Manitoba Committee for Rural Leadership Training, the Red River Exhibition Association and the Manitoba Farm Vacation Association.