Richard Bradfield

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Dr. Richard Bradfield was a soil scientist and the head of the Department of Agronomy at Cornell University from 1937 until 1955. He was also the president of the American Society of Agronomy in 1942, and a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Soil Survey Association.[1][2]

Bradfield also played a major role in the Green Revolution. He "served continually as a consultant with the USDA after 1940."[3] Bradfield was "consulted frequently about agricultural aspects of the foreign aid programs initiated under the Marshall Plan."[4] From 1963 until 1971, he worked at the International Rice Research Institute, ultimately becoming head of the Multiple Cropping Department.[5] He died at age 85 on May 1, 1981.

Role in the Green Revolution

Bradfield was a research consultant and a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. He was part of the initial research team, along with Paul C. Mangelsdorf and Elvin C. Stakman, that spent six months in Mexico to make a recommendation to the Rockefeller Foundation on how to implement the Mexican Agricultural Program (which would later be called the Green Revolution).[6][7] He remained an advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation for years as the Green Revolution spread to other nations. In 1967, Stakman, Bradfield, and Mangelsdorf wrote a book about the Green Revolution together called Campaigns Against Hunger.

In his work in Mexico, Bradfield embraced industrial agricultural practices but did not entirely abandon organic agricultural practices:

"Bradfield believed in chemical fertilizers, but he also stressed the importance of organic methods. The foundation urged the SAF [Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture and Development] to devote more effort to this program, claiming that central Mexico's climate and soils often made chemical fertilizers inefficient, especially on de temporal [rainfed] corn, and also because they were too expensive for most Mexican farmers. In 1949 [Rockefeller] foundation gave the green manure crop program a high priority."[8]

In addition to his work with the Rockefeller Foundation, Bradfield worked with the International Cooperation Administration, the precursor to USAID:[9]

"He was active in the College negotiations for the contract with the International Cooperation Administration for rehabilitation of the College of Agriculture of the University of the Philippines and was scheduled to be the first advisor in soils on that contract. This was in the days of the "Joe" McCarthy witch-hunts, and Dr. Bradfield was one of the victims. He was denied security clearance because he had once contributed to an organization that later made the McCarthy subversive list. Though Dr. Bradfield forced a full investigation and was fully cleared, it was too late to serve in the Philippines."[10]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. John H. Perkins, Geopolitics and the Green Revolution: Wheat, Genes, and the Cold War, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 142
  2. Marlin G. Cline, Agronomy at Cornell: 1968-1980, 1982
  3. Marlin G. Cline, Agronomy at Cornell: 1968-1980, 1982, p. 149
  4. Marlin G. Cline, Agronomy at Cornell: 1968-1980, 1982, p. 162
  5. International Rice Research Institute, International Rice Research Newsletter, Volume 6, Number 4, August 1981.
  6. Bruce H. Jennings, Foundations of International Agricultural Research: Science and Politics in Mexican Agriculture, p. 48
  7. John H. Perkins, Geopolitics and the Green Revolution: Wheat, Genes, and the Cold War, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 106-7
  8. Joseph Cotter, Troubled Harvest: Agronomy and Revolution in Mexico, 1880-2002 Praeger Publishers, Westport, Connecticut, 2003, pp. 198-199
  9. Cline, Agronomy at Cornell: 1968-1980, 1982, p. 149
  10. Cline, Agronomy at Cornell: 1968-1980, 1982, p. 149

External Resources