Alumnus Merle T. Jenkins earned a BS in agronomy from Oregon Agricultural College in 1916. During his student years, he was a military cadet and member of the Osolito Club. Jenkins attended for three academic years from the fall of 1913 until June 1916, when he graduated. He served in the military during World War I and completed his MS and Ph.D. degrees at Iowa State University. As an agronomist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) , he was internationally recognized for his development of hybrid corn. He assisted many countries with development of their own hybrid corn programs.
Jenkins retired from the USDA in 1958 as Head of the Corn and Sorghum Section in Beltsville, Maryland; and worked in his retirement for the Farmers Forage Research Cooperative, a seed foundation associated with Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, until 1974.
Merle Truman Jenkins was born in Brookings, South Dakota, in 1895 and graduated from Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. He died in Medford, Oregon, in 1986.
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