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John P. Mahlstede papers

 Collection
Identifier: RS 9/2/17

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection (1955-1992) includes biographical information, correspondence files, meeting minutes, reports, and materials related to research programs coordinated by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. Most of the records date to Mahlstede's tenure as Associate Director (1967-1987) of the Experiment Station and include correspondence and reports with various research organizations he was affiliated with.



Materials labeled National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) contain minutes, reports, publications, correspondence and budgetary data from the various committees and subcommittees of the organization. The major decision-making committee in this realm is the Experimentation Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), with other divisions including the Resident Instruction Committee on Organization and Policy (RICOP), the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET), and the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (ARPAC).



The Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station is organized within the jurisdiction of the North Central Region Experiment Stations (NCRES). Materials related to this association includes correspondence to the Station, budgetary data, minutes, projects lists, activities and publications of NCRES and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD), which is a unit that encourages and conducts broad research and educational programs for the purpose of improving the social and economic opportunities for people in rural communities.



Documents related to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contain information about six different divisions under the USDA, and their respective relationships with the Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station: the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the powerful steering committee known as the "Committee of Nine", Forestry, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the Joint Council on Food, and national and state levels of Soil Conservation. The materials on the "Soil Conservation" subseries contains information on mission statements, correspondence, budgetary concerns, meeting minutes, projects and contracts, publications, and newsletters.



Finally, the collection contains materials from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and Iowa Soybean Promotion Board (ISPB). Records from both contain similar information in the form of correspondence, minutes, and research files.

Dates

  • 1955-1992

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

John Peter Mahlstede was born to John A. and Gretchen (Boddy) Mahlstede on June 5, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.S. (1947) in botany from Miami University (Ohio) and both his M.S. (1948) in horticulture and Ph.D. (1951) in ornamental horticulture from Michigan State University. During World War II, Mahlstede served as an Army Air Corps B-26 Squadron bombardier and navigator. For his service he received the air medal with eight oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mahlstede joined the Iowa State University Department of Horticulture as Assistant Professor (1951-1955) and was quickly promoted to Associate Professor (1955-1957) and Professor (1957-1987). He also served as Head (1961-1965) of the Department of Horticulture. Mahlstede was named Assistant Director (1965-1967) and then Associate Director (1967-1975) of the Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. He was promoted to Associate Dean and Director (1975-1977) and finally Associate Dean (1977-1987) in the College of Agriculture.



During his tenure in the Department of Horticulture, Mahlstede was in charge of nursery research and teaching courses on plant propagation. This research led to publication of a textbook, co-written with E. S. Haber, titled Plant Propogation. Mahlstede also conducted research leading to the widespread use of polyethylene wraps for packaging dormant plants and using frozen storage for dormant perennials. He is credited with nearly 50 published articles and books.



Mahlstede was elected Fellow (1969) by the American Society for Horticultural Science and also served as President (1971-1972). He served as President (1965) of the International Plant Propagation Society. He served as Chairman of the Experiment Station Section of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (1978-1979). He was also named Fellow (1977) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Honor Award (1970) from the Iowa State Horticulture Society. At Iowa State he served on the Faculty Council and the Athletic Council for many years and served as Iowa State's Big Eight Conference faculty representative (1971-1987). The Mahlstede Center at Iowa State's Reiman Gardens is named in his honor.



Mahlstede married Alberta Jean Lindquist of Jamestown, New York, in 1947. They had four children: Deborah, Barbara, Cynthia, and John. John P. Mahlstede passed away on June 2, 2002, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Extent

5.46 Linear Feet (13 document boxes)

Abstract

John P. Mahlstede was a horticulturist, researcher, and administrator. He joined the faculty at Iowa State University in 1951 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture. He was promoted to Professor and Head of the Department and eventually was named Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Associate Director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. He was an expert in the understanding of plant propagation and co-wrote a textbook on the topic with E. S. Haber, appropriately titled Plant Propagation. This collection includes biographical information, correspondence files, meeting minutes, reports, and materials related to research programs coordinated by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. Most of the records date to Mahlstede's tenure as Associate Director (1967-1987) of the Experiment Station and include correspondence and reports with various research organizations he and the Experiment Station were affiliated with. These associations include National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, and the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board.

Arrangement

The collection is loosely organized into series comprised of materials related to the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, and the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board.

Items in related collections

RS 9/2. Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station records

Related collection materials

Related collections in the Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library include:

•North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Records, RS 1/6.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
RS 9/2/17. John P. Mahlstede papers, 1955-1992
Date
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672