A Tradition of Innovation in Agriculture
The fertile land of the Nishnabotna Valley was created when prehistoric glaciers deposited a base for the rich, thick soil which built up through the centuries and made Iowa famous for its corn and soybeans.
Settlers from the great Mormon migration recognized the potential of the fertile Nishna Valley and established the village of Manti in the area in 1852.
Agriculture became a significant part of southwest Iowa living. Seed and nursery businesses flourished. Radio stations KMA and KFNF broadcast farm-related information to thousands of rural farm families starting in the 1920's. Jessie Field Shanbaugh, sister of Henry Field, founded the 4-H Clubs of America to teach young people about agriculture.
Shenandoah played a vital role in the early development of hybrid seed corn. During the mid 1930's, J. R. McNeilly, an early hybridizer, sold hybrid seed corn through the nurseries of Earl May and Henry Field. Under the auspices of the United Nations, John Nicholson brought agronomists to Shenandoah from all over Europe to study hybrid seed corn production at his company, United Hybrid Corn Growers. When the DeKalb plant opened in 1941, southwest Iowa became a leading producer of hybrid corn.
Southwest Iowa agriculture has continued to evolve with increased attention given to environmental conservation. Contemporary
Location. 40° 45.953′ N, 95° 22.337′ W. Marker is in Shenandoah, Iowa, in Page County. Marker is at the intersection of Sheridan Avenue and Blossom Street, on the right when traveling east on Sheridan Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shenandoah IA 51601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Women's Christian Temperance Union Fountain (here, next to this marker); American Veterans Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Julian Dubuque (a few steps from this marker); A City In Print (within shouting distance of this marker); The Nurseries of Shenandoah (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneers of Radio (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Music of Shenandoah (about 500 feet away); Civil War Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shenandoah.
More about this marker. The fiberglass marker has deteriorated.
Also see . . .
1. Hybrid Corn Pioneers in Shelby County, Iowa (2012 Farm Collector article). (Submitted on August 25, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Earl May Nursery History. (Submitted on August 25, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Agriculture •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.