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Historic Milestones and Laboratory Directors


  • 1935 USDA Regional Research Laboratories created by Bankhead-Jones Act.
  • 1936 Committee established by Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace recommended, among other things, a survey of trace element content of soils and study of the bioavailability to people and animals of trace elements in plants or plant products used as food or feed.
  • 1939 Funding for the US Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory approved.
  • 1940 Leonard Maynard chosen as Laboratory Director. Building occupied and first experiments initiated.
  • 1941 First annual report on research progress.
  • 1946 Karl C. Hamner appointed Laboratory Director.
  • 1948 Kenneth C. Beeson appointed Laboratory Director.
  • 1960 William H. Allaway appointed Laboratory Director.
  • 1963 Additional research facilities created by construction of new wing to the building.
  • 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to Dr. Robert W. Holley for the determination of the first nucleic acid sequence.
  • 1977 Dave Moore appointed Laboratory Director.
  • 1978 Staff of microclimatology research project incorporated into the Laboratory.
  • 1980 Darrell R. Van Campen appointed Laboratory Director.
  • 1982 Staff of USDA Dairy Forage Cluster at CornellUniversity incorporated into Laboratory.
  • 1997 Leon V. Kochian appointed Laboratory Director.
  • 2001 Center of Agricultural Bioinformatics incorporated into the Laboratory.
  • 2003 The ARS Functional and Comparative Proteomics Facility established within the Laboratory.
  • 2004 Funding appropriated for the design of new building to house all of the research programs within the U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory.