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Dept. of Grain Science and Industry | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Dept. of Grain Science and Industry

Historical Note:

The department of Grain Science and Industry started when milling and baking tests were conducted as part of the Chemistry department after an experimental mill was installed in 1905. From 1906-1910 Professor C.O. Swanson was the person responsible for these experimental tests.

On March 1st, 1910 the Department of Milling was formed when it broke away from the Chemistry department.  From 1910-1922 Leslie A. Fitz was the head of the department until his resignation.  After the resignation of Fitz, Swanson became head of the department.  Early on the department worked to improve wheat quality and methods of grain storage.  The department was located in Agriculture Hall (East Waters Hall).

In 1937 a four year degree in milling industry was offered as a course of study.  In 1939 Swanson retired and Dr. E.G. Bayfield took over until 1945 when John Shellenberger took over as the department head.  While Shellenberger headed the department the equipment and laboratories were updated with more modern equipment.  The Department of Milling expanded the curriculum in 1951 by adding feed technology and expanded once again in 1963 when bakery science was added.

John Shellenberger retired in 1966 and was succeeded by William J. Hoover as the department head.  1966 also saw the change of the name from the Department of Milling Industry to the Department of Grain Science and Industry.

Dr. Hoover resigned in 1976 with Charles W. Deyoe taking over as the department head.  When Hoover resigned he took over as the President of the American Institute of Baking.  With his help the organization moved from Chicago to Manhattan where it has been based since.  In 1992 Deyoe stepped down and Dr. Richard R. Hahn took over the position.  Hahn retired in 1996 and Dr. Brendan J. Donnelly took over as department head.  Under Donnelly’s leadership the start of a five building Grain Science and Industry complex began construction.  The first of these buildings, the International Grains Program Conference Center, was completed in 2004.  The second building, the Biological and Industrial Value Added Programs, was finished in 2005.  In 2006 the Hal Ross Flour Mill was completed.  The O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center was completed in 2013.

Dr. Donnelly retired with Dr. Virgil Smail taking over in 2004.  In 2008 Dr. Dirk Maier becomes the current department head.

Sources: Vertical file and internet sources.

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