Following graduation from the Ontario Agricultural College, Dr. Archibald served with distinction as lecturer at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College for four years (1908-12) and as Dominion Animal Husbandryman for seven years (1912-19.) However, his greatest contributions to agriculture were made between 1919 and 1950 when he was a director of Experimental Farms for Canada.
Under his dynamic leadership the number of experimental farms rose from 16 to 53 and the volume of agricultural research increased accordingly. Because of his emphasis on the need for high quality animals many purebred herds were established, particularly in western Canada, where they served as valuable sources of breeding stock.
By mobilizing and strengthening the resources of experimental farms, programs of soil erosion control, re-grassing, community pastures and water development were undertaken. Research in these fields, conducted under his direction, provided the basis for the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act, the implementation of which saved agriculture in western Canada in the 1930s.
In recognition of his many contributions to agriculture Dr. Archibald received honourary degrees from the University of Manitoba (LL.D. 1928), Acadian University (D.Sc. 1930), and the University of Saskatchewan (LL.D. 1950).
After his official retirement in 1950, Dr. Archibald served two years as Chief Agricultural Advisor with the Food and Agriculture Organization in Ethiopia and later as Special Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture for that country. For this service he was awarded the Star of Ethiopia.