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Frederick Blackmar Mumford | 1928

Missouri University School of Agriculture's fifth dean makes the college a top ranked school and helped improve agricultural production.

1868-1946 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)

Impact & Accomplishments

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Albion College, Frederick Mumford became assistant director of the agricultural experiment station there while he pursued graduate studies at Michigan Agricultural College. He completed his master’s degree in 1893 and taught at Michigan for two years, before moving to the University of Missouri.

Mumford took over as dean of the College of Agriculture and head of the experiment station in 1909. In his forty-three years there, he created new departments of forestry, farm management, poultry husbandry, soils, field crops, and dairy husbandry and established an extension service.

During World War I, Dean Mumford headed the Missouri Council of Defense and the Missouri Division of the U. S. Food Administration and was a member of the Mission Américaine de Rapproachment, to assess France’s economic needs after the war.

During the Depression, Mumford served on the state board of agriculture, as well as relief and farm debt commissions. After retirement, he was president of the Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities.

Frederick Mumford and his brother, Herbert Windsor Mumford, agriculture dean at the University of Illinois, were both chosen by the American Association of Animal Production, to be honored with Saddle & Sirloin portraits in 1928.

Did You Know?

“He transformed a struggling college into what is now a top ten institution,” Lee wrote. “His work had a profound and positive effect on agricultural education and research for three-quarters of a century. Truly significant developments in agricultural education and federal support are the result of Mumford’s foresight, work habits and leadership while he was Dean of the College of Agriculture.
“Mumford frequently noted that he considered himself fortunate to have lived at a time when so much progress in scientific agriculture was being made. But few believe that all of this progress would have been made with anyone else in charge.” - Richard Lee, Journal of Animal Science in 1992

Under Mumford's leadership, the Missouri College of Agrculture’s trains brought the latest scientific techniques to Missouri farmers. Courtesy BNSF Railway Company.

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