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Jay L. Lush papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 9/11/52

Scope and Content

The collection (1918-1985, undated) contains many of Lush’s published scientific journal articles, notes on his research in animal breeding, reel-to-reel audio tapes of lectures, and animal husbandry class notes. In addition, the collection includes swine related USDA publications, notes from his speaking engagements, and professional and student correspondence. There are also slides from national and international travels and Lush family photographs in the collection.


  • Creation: 1918-1985, undated

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Jay L. Lush was born January 3, 1896 on a farm near Shambaugh, Iowa. He received a B.S. (1916) and an M.S. (1918) from Kansas State College (University) and a Ph. D. (1921) from the University of Wisconsin.

He began his professional career as a high school chemistry and agriculture teacher in Kansas (1916-1917). As a student, he was a research assistant at Kansas State College (University) (1917-1918) and at the University of Wisconsin (1919-1921). Lush’s next career move took him to Texas as the Animal Husbandman at Texas A&M College (University) (1921-1929). He returned to Iowa as Professor of Animal Husbandry at Iowa State College (University) (1930-1966). Lush became the Iowa State College (University) Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture (1957). Although he retired in 1966, Lush remained active at Iowa State until his death on May 2, 1982.

Lush made substantial contributions to animal genetics and biometrics research and he is considered to be the father of scientific animal breeding. He was instrumental in identifying breeding systems and genes, which improved various breeds of farm animals. In addition to being a premier scientist, Lush also made an impact on the teaching of animal husbandry and genetics. He founded the graduate program in animal breeding at Iowa State, and educators of animal husbandry, throughout the world, have used his book, Animal Breeding Plans, and his notes on genetics as standard texts. In addition, Lush lectured and researched in several other countries including Denmark, Columbia, Great Britain, Argentina, and India.

He received numerous awards and honors, including the Morrison Award from the American Society of Animal Production (1946), the Borden Award (1958), the Hermann von Nathusius Medal from the German Society of Animal Breeding (1960), the Distinguished Service Award (1966) from the American Dairy Science Association, Citation of Excellence (1969) from Poultry Breeders of America, and the National Medal of Science (1969). He was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1967) and several honorary degrees from institutions around the world. Iowa State University named the auditorium in Kildee Hall Lush Auditorium (1973).

Jay Lush married Adeline Lincoln December 20, 1923. They had two children: Mary Elizabeth (Hausrath) and David. Adeline Lincoln Lush was born July 15, 1899 in Van Buren, Arkansas. She graduated from high school when she was thirteen years old and from the University of Arkansas at sixteen. She also received an M.A. from the University of Chicago at the age of seventeen. Adeline Lush was named Iowa’s mother of the year in 1963. She passed away in 1992.


26.02 Linear Feet (50 document boxes, 2 half-document boxes, 2 oversized boxes, 2 card boxes, 1 map case folder, 1 oversized tube)

Language of Materials


Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 9/11/52. Jay L. Lush papers, 1918-1985, undated
February 6, 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