Presentation and Symposium to honor Day County wheat breeder

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Farm Forum

History shows plant diseases can impact human lifestyles leading to starvation and immigration, i.e. southern corn leaf blight, potato blight, and stem rust in wheat. Day County is noted for one amazing man who never gave up on his vision and sacrificed comfort, the regard of others and gave the world ’Hope’

Edgar McFadden was born in 1891, and ironically his first home was in a grain bin with next year’s wheat as a bed.

McFadden successfully crossed emmer and the spring wheat variety, Marquis, to eventually produce the variety Hope, which was resistant to both stem and leaf rusts. Many wheat varieties still have Hope wheat as a great grandparent. Many articles reiterate that perhaps 25 million people across the world escaped death by starvation due to bread derived from Hope wheat.

A 1947 the memorial was dedicated to McFadden. It reads, “The farmers and farm organizations of Day County herewith seek to perpetuate the memory of and appreciation for one of Day County’s farmers, agronomist and plant pathologist Edgar S McFadden. He Provided a Bountiful Harvest For His Fellow Farmers while to A Hungry World He Gave Bread.”

On September 23-24, a Symposium at South Dakota State University honoring Edgar S. McFadden and highlighting his incredible contribution to the green revolution. Day County Conservation District will host a presentation on McFadden at the American Legion community room on August 6 at 6 p.m.