William I. Myers and the Modernization of American Agriculture / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
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William I. Myers is an important figure in American agricultural history. Reared on a farm, he was a member of the first generation of graduate students in the rural social sciences. Myers was a leader in the drive to make farming more businesslike. His work (1910s-1960s) contributed to the triumph of modernization over traditionalism in world agriculture. Myers received his Ph.D. in 1918 from Cornell University, where he was a protege of George Warren, a pioneer in the effort to deromanticize and modernize farming. Following in Warren's footsteps at Cornell, Myers oversaw popular courses in farm management and cooperative marketing. During the farm credit crisis brought on by the Great Depression, Myers served in Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal government, writing the legislation to consolidate federal farm credit programs. After a brief stint as deputy governor, he became governor of the Farm Credit Administration in 1933. Myers led the agency to two great successes: saving thousands of farms from bankruptcy and establishing a permanent, government-sponsored credit system for farmers comparable to what private banks provided industry. Myers returned to Cornell in 1938 and served for nearly fifteen years as dean of the College of Agriculture. Myers also served on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, which was instituting agricultural research programs that would enable developing nations to become more productive, self-reliant, and anticommunist members of the global community. Author Douglas Slaybaugh tells the complete story of Myers's life, from his boyhood days on the farm to his final years, when in retirement he served as a consultant and vigorously tended his lawn and vegetable garden. Through numerous firsthand sources, the book offers a uniquely personal look at a remarkably influential individual.
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Editorial Reviews

A biography of one of the country's first scholars in agricultural economics, who transformed farming from a way of life to a science and a business. Examines his years as an educator at Cornell, a congressman, and author of landmark agricultural legislation, as well as his childhood and his final years. Useful in courses on agricultural history. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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