Trotter, Ide Peebles

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Trotter, Ide Peebles

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Ide Peebles Trotter was born in Brownsville, Tenn. on 12 December 1895, the son of Isham Patten and Susie Eager Trotter. Most of his working career was devoted to education, mainly in Texas, though he also spent several years in Missouri.

Trotter received a B.A. from Mississippi College in 1915, and a B.S. (1918) and M.S. (1921) from Mississippi A & M. In 1933 the University of Wisconsin awarded him a Ph.D. in Agriculture. His dissertation topic was A Comparative Study of the Individual and Group Behavior of Farmers as Influenced by Certain Methods of Soils and Crops Extension Teaching Used in Missouri.

For one year following the receipt of his B.A., Trotter served as the Assistant Principal of the High School in Hernando, Miss. He then re-entered college. Immediately after receiving his B.S., he entered the military and served as Director of Agriculture for the military base hospitals at Camp Travis, Texas, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Upon being released from military duties, he entered graduate school. For slightly more than two years after receiving his M.S., Trotter worked at the Delta Branch Experiment Station in Stoneville, Miss., serving first as Foreman and later as Assistant to the Superintendent.

During 1923-1936, Trotter served as the Extension Agronomist at the Missouri College of Agriculture. While serving in this capacity, he was charged with several additional responsibilities, in 1933 he was placed in charge of the Federal Cotton Plow-up Program, and in 1934, the A.A.A. Program in eighteen counties in Southeastern Missouri. Trotter also represented the University of Missouri on the Bankhead Committee, and, from 1935 to 1936, served as Agronomy Advisor to the Administrator of the U.S.D.A., the A.A.A., and Soil Conservation Programs.

In 1936, Trotter came to Texas A & M University, then called the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, where he held several responsible positions before his retirement in 1960. Until 1944, he served as Head of the Department of Agronomy. From 1944 until 1949, he was Director of the Agricultural Extension Service. During these years, he made several changes, such as having regional directors reside in the regions in which they served rather than in College Station, and, to avoid duplication of effort, having subject specialists in the Extension Service work more closely with the people in their subject area in the School of Agriculture. Trotter also devoted a great deal of effort to the professional improvement of Extension personnel. Between 1949 and 1956, Trotter was Dean of the Graduate School and thereafter served as Associate Dean until his retirement in 1960. In addition, he was an Extension Consultant on Personnel and Professional Improvement during this time. He was particularly active in the training of African-American Extension personnel.

Twice during his long career, Trotter was engaged in activities that took him abroad for extended periods. Upon retiring from Texas A&M University, Trotter accepted a position on the faculty of the University of Missouri. He served on the U.S. AID team for India until 1964, during which time he helped organize the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology on the Pattern of U.S. Land Grant colleges, where research, teaching, and extension are coordinated.

In 1948 Trotter also served as an International Commodity Specialist in cotton, and surveyed cotton activities in Japan, China, India, Pakistan, and Greece for the Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations.

Throughout his career, Trotter was committed to religious and civic involvement. His numerous early morning radio talks on various agricultural topics as well as New Year's and Thanksgiving greetings demonstrate this. He was largely responsible for the planning for and organization of the first Rural Church Conference in College Station in 1946. His speech on that occasion, "Soils and Souls," was reprinted several times in church and agricultural publications.

Trotter and his wife, Lena Ann Breeze Trotter, live in Bryan, Texas. They have two sons, Ide Peebles Trotter, Jr., and Benjamin Breeze Trotter, both of whom are graduates of Texas A&M University. Ide Peebles Trotter has also long been an active member of numerous societies and social and fraternal organizations.


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