Skip to main content

John Gibler papers

Identifier: ua-01180

Scope and Content

The John W. Gibler Papers include a wide range of wheat and crop breeding-related materials, including Gibler’s collection of journal articles, conference papers, plant-crossing ledgers and other technical and field-oriented materials. The materials cover the period when Gibler began his work in Mexico with Norman Borlaug in the early 1950s through the mid 1990s, when Gibler retired from consulting and international travel. The collection also includes work-related and personal correspondence. Much of the collection is in languages other than English. Because of the large volume, no attempt was made to identify the language of materials at the folder level.

The material was in no discernable order. The collection has been organized into six series: Series 1. Professional Affiliations, includes documents generated by organizations and companies Gibler worked with or for during the course of his career. Series 2. Correspondence is divided into two sub-series, Personal and Professional. Series 3. Country Bulletins, contains copies of the official publications from Central and South American organizations Gibler was affiliated with. These materials are primarily in Portuguese and Spanish. Series 4. Crop-Related Publications includes Gibler’s library of crop-related research materials. Crops featured in this section include wheat, triticale, soybeans, corn, oats and barley. The bulk of the material focuses on wheat crosses and wheat pedigrees, and includes the published crosses of wheat generated during Gibler's work in Mexico. Most materials are in English, with some in Portuguese and French. Series 5. Awards and Honorarium. Series 6. Miscellaneous, includes news clippings, photographs, and biographical information.


  • 1890-2006
  • Majority of material found within ( 1950s-1990s)


Language of Materials

Collection material in English, Spanish, and Portuguese

Use of Materials

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


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of John Gibler (1920-2006)

John Wesley Gibler, B.S. (1947) University of Montana; M.S. (1950), Ph.D. (1951) University of Minnesota. University of Minnesota alumnus and contemporary of Norman Borlaug. Expert in the breeding of cereal and soybeans in highly toxic soils and leader in Latin American crop development.

John Gibler was born in Willow City, South Dakota on November 10, 1920. He grew up in rural Teton County, Montana where his father and mother farmed. He served as a Navy pilot in WWII, and enrolled at the University of Montana after leaving the service, earning his bachelor's degree in 1947. Gibler then enrolled in the University of Minnesota, earning his M.S. in 1950 and Ph.D. in 1951, both in plant pathology. After receiving his doctorate, Gibler was recommended by E.C. Stakman to join Norman Borlaug in Mexico to work on wheat breeding projects. Gibler remained in Mexico through 1955. From 1955 through 1969, Gibler worked as an agricultural consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation. He provided leadership on wheat, barley and oat improvement programs in Colombia (1956-1965) and Ecuador (1965-1967). In 1968-1969, he returned to Mexico and served as Director of Agricultural Programs at CIMMYT. His twenty years in the field in South American solidified his expertise in cereal and soybean breeding and seed production in highly toxic soils.

Between 1969 and 1980, Gibler held several positions simultaneously in the public and private sector. He was Director of Massey-Ferguson International Programs based in Brazil from 1969-1980. He also served as Technical Director for FECOTRIGO (Federation of Farmer’s Wheat and Soybean Cooperatives of Rio Grand e do Sul Brazil) from 1969-1977, and Research Director for OCEPAR (Organization of Farm Cooperatives) in Brazil from 1977-1979.

Between 1955 and 1980, Gibler participated in numerous special assignments which took him around the globe. He participated in crop improvement feasibility studies in the Near East, North Africa, Turkey, Spain, and Central American countries conducted by U.S. AID, FAO, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, CENTO and the World Bank From 1980-1983, Gibler worked briefly for International Plant Research Institute in the Cereals Program. When that company failed, Gibler returned to consulting, and spent his remaining work years through the mid 1990s advising South and Central American agricultural ministries on crop programs, concentrating on Bolivia and Brazil.

Gibler received numerous honors for his work on wheat and triticale breeding, and was highly regarded as a program administrator. He was awarded the University of Minnesota’s E.C. Stakman award in September 2006. He Married twice; first to Catherine Marie Zander, who died in 2001, and to Bettie Rice. The Giblers had three children; Mary, Jeanette and Paul. John Gibler died December 13, 2006 in Hot Springs, AK.


7.5 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)


Collection contains the papers of John W. Gibler, noted breeder of cereal grains and soybeans, and alumnus of the University of Minnesota.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. Professional Affiliations
  2. Correspondence
  3. Country Bulletins
  4. Crop-Related Publications
  5. Awards and Honoraria
  6. Miscellaneous

Source of acquisition

The collection was acquired through a donation from John Gibler’s daughter, Janet Margaret Krukar in 2007.

Related Materials in University Archives

The John Gibler papers are one of several collections held by the University of Minnesota that document the development of agricultural practices that were central to the Green Revolution, including

Norman Borlaug papers

Elvin C. Stakman papers

John S. Niederhauser papers

Helen Hart papers

Cereal Rust Laboratory records

Department of Plant Pathology records

Processing Information

Collection processed by Susan Hoffman with funds from the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and individual donors. Digitization funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

John Gibler papers, 1890-2006
Susan Hoffman
April 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area