Oral history; interview with Dr. Lyle Nelson, Professor Emeritus of Soil Science, conducted on April 30, 2012, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University. Dr. Nelson was born in Greenbush Township, North Dakota, in 1921. He was raised on a farm and attended North Dakota Agricultural College in 1939. Nelson spent 38 months in the U.S. Army, with 25 of those being in the European Theater, from 1942 to 1945. After serving his country, he returned to college and graduated in 1948. In 1948, he entered graduate school at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and received a Master’s degree in 1950 and a PhD in 1952 – the same year he came to Mississippi State. His teaching and research interests at Mississippi State included soil fertility, plant nutrition, and forest soils. Among his memberships at MSU were the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, and the International Society of Soil Science. He was also a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science and was named Alpha Zeta Professor of the Year for 1970. Nelson retired from Mississippi State in 1986. In this interview, he discusses the years the Agronomy Department was housed in Lloyd-Ricks, and many early faculty members.
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