Staff Paper, Cornell University, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management 2010-02
This paper reviews the establishment and funding of the W. I. Myers Professorship of Agricultural Finance and the activities and accomplishments of early chair holders. Because considerable time has passed since the formation of the Chair, this record will undoubtedly be incomplete in unknown ways. William I. Myers (1891-1976) was born and reared on a dairy and tobacco farm in Chemung County, New York. He received his Ph. D. from Cornell and was appointed to the faculty in 1918. In 1920 he was the first person ever appointed full professor of agricultural finance. In 1932, during the depth of the depression, Myers was asked by Henry Morgenthau to prepare recommendations for a legislative program to solve the agricultural finance problem. His ideas were approved by president-elect Roosevelt who asked him to come to Washington to assist with development of the Farm Credit Administration. In 1933, Myers was appointed Governor of the Farm Credit Administration, succeeding original Governor Henry Morgenthau, when Morgenthau was appointed Secretary of the Treasury. As Governor of FCA he was the principal architect and top administrator during the revitalization, reorganization and expansion of what beacame the Farm Credit System. In 1938, he returned to Cornell as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, and he later served as Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1943 to 1959.