Farmer, writer/editor, community leader and secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
1846-1924 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
Secretary of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture for twenty years (1894-1914), Foster Dwight Coburn had no university training in agriculture, but he achieved enough practical experience over his lifetime to publish dozens of books in the field and to gain consideration for the post of U. S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Coburn moved to Kansas from Wisconsin in 1867, after serving the Union Army during the Civil War. He was an early promoter of alfalfa and published several books on its value.
Coburn edited the Livestock Indicator, served as president of the board of regents of Kansas State Agricultural College, and was director of several financial institutions.
He was a judge at several world’s fairs: the World Cotton Centennial in New Orleans (1884), Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904).
Did You Know?
Photo of Coburn at his desk, circa 1906. Coburn was an honorary life member of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, and an honorary member of the Kansas State Editorial Association, and was a director of the Kansas State Historical Society. In June, 1909, he was honored with the degree of A. M. from Baker University, and the following November he received the degree of LL. D. from the Kansas State Agricultural College.