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Raymond Brown Becker Papers

Identifier: Ms Coll. 009

Scope and Content

The collection focuses on Dr. Becker's research and publications and contains articles written or co-authored by Dr. Becker, along with related correspondence and notes. His research notebooks are another highlight of the collection. Letters, notes, and other material that were separated from the notebooks often follow each book in the collection arrangement. The collection also includes photographs depicting Becker's research and activities of the dairy science program.


  • Creation: 1928-1974



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

Biographical/Historical Note

Raymond Brown Becker served as Professor of Dairy Husbandry and Dairy Husbandmen at the Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations from 1929 to 1963. This collection of his correspondence, papers, and research notes provides excellent documentation of the University's dairy science program from its expansion in the late 1920s to its full development in the 1960s. The collection also reveals the close working relationship between the Agricultural Experiment Station and the state's dairy industry.

Dr. Becker was born December 18, 1892 in Clermont, Iowa, and received his B.S. in Agriculture from Iowa State College in 1916. He was employed by Edgemoor Farms of California until he entered the army during World War I. A near fatal concussion and exposure to phosgene gas during the war forced him to pursue a less strenuous career. He returned to Iowa State College and received his M.S. in 1920 and served briefly as an instructor at Kansas State University. In 1923 he accepted an instructorship at the University of Minnesota and entered graduate school there. He received his Ph. D. in 1925 under the tutorage of Dr. Charles H. Eckles. At Minnesota he studied problems related to soil mineral deficiency and its effect on cattle.

After three years of teaching and research assignments at Oklahoma A and M, Dr. Becker moved to the fledgling dairy science program at the University of Florida's in 1929. (In one of his record books, in a folder marked Various Projects, 1928-1944, Dr. Becker described the archaic conditions of the dairy on his first visit here in 1928.) In his earliest years at Florida he was involved in research related to a mineral deficiency in cattle known as "salt sick" and was instrumental in finding a cure.

In later years, Dr. Becker was influential in the promotion of citrus pulp as cattle feed. He also did extensive experimentation with silage as a replacement for forage and studied calcium and phosphorus deficiencies in Florida cattle. Dr. Becker wrote or co-authored nearly 180 titles for the station's bulletins, as well as for scholarly journals and popular diary magazines. Dr. Becker also published two books, one a biography of John Gorrie and the other a life-long project entitled Dairy Cattle Breeds: Origins and Development. Dr. Becker died in 1989 at the age of 96.


7.5 Linear feet (18 boxes)

Language of Materials



Articles written by Becker along with related correspondence and notes, his research notebooks, and photographs depicting Becker's research and the dairy science program.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

A Guide to the Raymond Brown Becker Papers
Finding aid prepared by Dept. Staff
March 2005
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America