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Henry Herbert Kildee | 1938

Dean Kildee was a foundational pillar in the advancement and improvement of livestock production in this country and the world.

1884 -1973 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)

Impact & Accomplishments

Born on a farm in Osage, Iowa, Henry Herbert Kildee received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State College in 1908, the same year he was high individual in the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest at the International Live Stock Exposition.

He joined the faculty of his alma mater in 1909, and the following year, was made head of dairy husbandry. In 1916, he went to the University of Minnesota to head dairy industries. After earning his master’s degree from Iowa State in 1917, however, Kildee returned to the ISC faculty as chairman of the animal husbandry department.

Professor Kildee was named dean of agriculture in 1933, serving until he retired in 1949. The experiment station and extension activities were unified under his leadership. Kildee’s work to develop the True Type Holstein and set up type classifications for dairy led to the formation of the Dairy Shrine Club, which honored him with the first portrait hung in the Shrine.

Dean Kildee was uniquely qualified to judge all breeds of dairy and beef cattle, swine, and draft horses, and he judged every major show in the U. S., as well as many abroad. He was director of the International beginning in 1947, serving as president from 1957 to 1964, then chairman after.

He was president of the American Society of Animal Production in 1934. Awarded honorary degrees from the North Dakota State College and Iowa State, the latter also honored him with Kildee Hall, naming the animal science department’s building for him in 1965.

Did You Know?

After retirement, Dean Kildee was active in international affairs. He participated on missions to South America as a seminar leader and technical advisor. Costa Rica made him an honorary citizen and he twice received national honors in Columbia.

The beautiful atrium inside Kildee Hall at Iowa State University.

The Kildee Scholarship was established by the National Dairy Shrine to honor H. H. Kildee, Dean of Agriculture at Iowa State College, and internationally-known livestock judge. The scholarship was designated for someone who would attend graduate school in dairy and was awarded to the winner of the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. This graduate scholarship is still being awarded today and is now open to students who excel at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge or the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest.

National Dairy Shrine, Waterloo, Iowa. Shown is Dean H.H. Kildee congratulating the 1964 Guest of Honor, W.D. Hoard, Jr.

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