Henry A. Wallace

Henry A. Wallace

Iowan Henry A. Wallace became one of the first people to successfully market hybrid seed corn. But making money was not his only motivation. Wallace believed in trying to make the lives of farmers better. He went on to become vice president of the United States.

Born in Adair County, Iowa, Henry Wallace attended Iowa State Agricultural College. He worked on his family’s magazine, Wallaces’ Farmer, a respected farming journal that was read by farmers in many states. The national newspaper ran stories to help farmers do a better job of farming, not only in terms of farming practices but also the politics involved in agriculture.

Working with his father, Henry Wallace developed the first commercial hybrid seed at Pioneer Seed in Des Moines. When he became editor of Wallaces’ Farmer, he spread the word about hybrid seeds and genetics. In 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Wallace as secretary of agriculture. He led many of the government’s New Deal farm programs. When Roosevelt was reelected in 1940, Wallace was elected vice president. He was secretary of commerce under President Harry Truman. Wallace ran for president in 1948 and lost. Henry Wallace wrote several books on agricultural problems, politics, and foreign policy. Plant scientist Stanley Jensen met Henry Wallace and says he was a thoughtful philosopher and writer.

Written by Claudia Reinhardt and Bill Ganzel, the Ganzel Group. First written and published in 2003.

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