First advocate of alfalfa as a forage crop east of the Mississippi River.
1861-1915 | Artist: J. W. Grimes (life dates unknown)
Impact & Accomplishments
Joseph E. Wing was one of the first persons to identify, promote, and grow alfalfa as a forage crop east of the Mississippi River.
Wing was born in Hinsdale, New York, and was raised on his family’s mixed use farm near Mechanicsburg, Ohio. In 1886, he traveled west to work on a cattle ranch in Utah, where alfalfa was gaining popularity in the irrigated valleys. In 1889, he returned to Ohio, to run the family farm with his brothers, raising sheep and introducing alfalfa to that part of the country.
In 1913, Wing hosted the first annual alfalfa picnic at his Woodland Farms home. “Joe Wing, the Alfalfa King” wrote several important books on alfalfa production and was a popular lecturer, in the U. S. and abroad.
A gifted journalist, Wing also wrote for The Breeders’ Gazette, Country Gentleman, and The Ohio Cultivator. He was inducted into the Ohio State Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1968.
Did You Know?
Wing Seed Catalog 1916 - photo of Joe Wing in the field circa early 1900's.
Photo by William Fischer, Jr.