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Historic Research Center Named for Henry A. Wallace / June 6, 2000 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Henry A. Wallace

Henry A. Wallace

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Historic Research Center Named for Henry A. Wallace

By Kim Kaplan
June 6, 2000

BELTSVILLE, Md., June 6-- Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman today renamed a major USDA research facility as the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

“Henry A. Wallace changed the face of American agriculture during his career as a scientist and as Secretary of Agriculture,” Glickman said. “Wallace was committed to the idea that science is our best hope for sustaining agriculture and preserving the environment."

Wallace served as Secretary of Agriculture from 1932-40, Vice President of the United States from 1940-44, and Secretary of Commerce from 1945-46. He also was a corn geneticist, an agricultural economist, and a vigorous advocate of soil conservation and ecology.

Considered by many one of the country’s greatest Secretaries of Agriculture, Wallace framed the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which stabilized farm prices and promoted soil conservation, helping America’s farmers survive the Great Depression. The Rural Electrification Administration, food stamp program, the school lunch program, and the Food for Peace program were all established under his leadership.

Wallace also created the emergency granary system through which the Federal government purchases surplus grain and stores it against future needs. His scientific contributions were numerous, including the development of the first commercially viable hybrid corn strain. He founded the first and most successful hybrid seed corn company which significantly increased hybrid corn yields.

Wallace believed scientific research was the best way to advance agriculture and maintain the quality of soil and the environment as a whole. He directed a major expansion of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in the 1930s. Today, the 6,500-acre scientific facility in Beltsville, Maryland, is one of the largest agricultural research centers in the world.

Contact: Kim Kaplan, ARS Information Staff, Beltsville,Md., phone (301) 504-1637, fax (301) 504-1648, Kkaplan@asrr.arsusda.gov.

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