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Louis M. Thompson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 9/9/58

Scope and Content

The collection (1925-2009, undated) contains material related to Dr. Thompson's professional career. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, news clippings, documentation of awards and certificates, published papers, conference proceedings, and Center for Agricultural and Economic Development (CAED) reports. The published papers and articles document Dr. Thompson's research on the effects of climate on crop production and his research on agricultural and economic cycles. Thompson also investigated other natural phenomena that may impact crop yields such as solar and lunar cycles. Other topics of interest in his writings include histories of Iowa State University's College of Agriculture, Agronomy Department, and farm operation curriculum.


  • 1925-2009, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Louis M. Thompson received a B.S. (1935) in agronomy from Texas A & M College (University) and an M.S. (1947) and Ph.D. (1950) in soil fertility from Iowa State College (University).

Dr. Thompson took the position of Instructor of Agronomy (1936-1942) at Texas A & M. He then joined the Army (1942-1946) where he served as an Infantry Officer during World War II. Dr. Thompson returned to Texas A & M as an Assistant Professor of Agronomy (1946). Later that year, Dr. Thompson moved to Iowa State College (University) to become a Teaching Assistant in Agronomy (1946-1947). He accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Agronomy (1947-1950) and was promoted to Professor in Charge of Farm Operation and Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University (1950-1958). He also served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs (1958-1983).

Dr. Thompson was involved in many professional societies. His memberships include the following: American Society of Agronomy, Iowa Academy of Science, American Meteorological Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and Soil and Water Conservation Society. He also belonged to numerous honor societies including: Alpha Zeta, Cardinal Key, Gamma Sigma Delta (national president, 1956-1958), Phi Kappa Phi (chapter president, 1959) and Sigma Xi.

Dr. Thompson received several professional recognitions including being named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, an American Society of Agronomy Fellow, a Soil Science Society of America Fellow, and a Soil and Water Conservation Society Fellow. He was also a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and a National Honorary Member of Farm House Fraternity.

Dr. Thompson also received numerous awards including the Alpha Zeta Award to Outstanding Faculty Member (1957), the President's Citation by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (1972), the Distinguished Service Award of Merit from Gamma Sigma Delta (1978), the Henry A. Wallace Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture (1982), the Friends of Agriculture Award by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (1993), and the Award for Distinguished Service to Iowa Agriculture by the Iowa Farm Bureau (1995). He also received several awards from Iowa State University: the Faculty Citation by the Iowa State Alumni Association (1990), the Named Innovator Award by the Iowa State University Agriculture Alumni Association (1992), the Distinguished Achievement Citation by the Iowa State University Alumni Association (1993), and the Alumni Recognition Medal by the Iowa State University Alumni Association (1996).

Thompson passed away on July 24, 2009. He was buried in the Iowa State University cemetery.


2.94 Linear Feet (7 document boxes)


The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Items in related collections

RS 9/9. Iowa State University. Department of Agronomy records, 1903-2013

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 9/9/58. Louis M. Thompson papers, 1925-2009, undated
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

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