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Willard W. Cochrane papers

Identifier: 414

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, case studies, speeches and articles, departmental papers, course materials, reader files and manuscripts.


  • 1960s-1970s


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote from the Willard W. Cochrane papers should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives head.

Biographical Sketch of Willard W. Cochrane (b. 1914)

Willard W. Cochrane was born on May 14, 1914 in Fresno, California. He earned his B.S. from the University of California in 1937, his M.S. in 1938 from Montana State College, M.P.A. in 1942 and Ph.D. in 1945 from Harvard University. Dr. Cochrane worked as an economist for the Farm Credit Administration (1939-1941), the War Food Administration (1943), the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (1943-1947) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.N. (1947-1948).

He began his career in academia as an associate professor at Penn State University (1948-1951) before becoming a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota in 1951. Dr. Cochrane took a 3-year leave of absence from his position at the University of Minnesota to serve as director of agricultural economics for the USDA and economic advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture (1961-1964). He served as President Kennedy's chief agricultural adviser during his 1960 presidential campaign.

He resumed his professorship in July of 1964 and was appointed as dean of International Programs at the University in 1965. He resigned his deanship in 1970 and was appointed as professor of public affairs, in addition to his post in agricultural economics, in 1971. Dr. Cochrane retired from the University of Minnesota as professor emeritus in 1981.

In addition to serving President Kennedy and the USDA, Dr. Cochrane was the architect of the modern food stamp program in the United States and fought for the supply control system. Even after retirement from the University, Dr. Cochrane ideas have continued to influence U.S. agricultural policy. In 2000, the University of Minnesota honored Dr. Cochrane's contributions to agriculture by awarding him an honorary doctorate of laws.


29 boxes (37.7 linear feet)


Collection contains the papers of Willard W. Cochrane, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota.

Source of acquisition

The collection was deposited in University Archives on July 22, 1980. An additional deposit was made on June 9, 1981.

Related Materials in University Archives

Office of International Programs papers

Processing Information

Collection has not been processed.

Willard W. Cochrane papers, 1960s-1970s
Karen Spilman
May 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area