About E.T. York

E. T. York was born on July 4, 1922, in DeKalb County and passed away in April 2011 in Florida. He earned a degree in agricultural science in 1942 and later a master’s degree in agronomy and soils from Auburn University. Following military service, where he served during World War II as a field artillery officer, he earned the Ph.D. in soil sciences from Cornell University in 1949.

In 1949, York began his academic career as an associate professor of agronomy. At the time of his departure in 1956, he was head of the department. After serving three years as eastern director of the American Potash Institute, he returned to Auburn as director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, where he served from 1959-61. From 1961-63, he served as USDA administrator for the Federal Extension Service.

For many decades, York has been highly regarded as a national and worldwide agricultural leader. He never forgot his Alabama connections and continuously served as an agricultural counselor to Alabama agricultural leaders.

In 1981, he established the York Distinguished Lecture Series, which has attracted renowned speakers to Auburn to disseminate agricultural knowledge and information to faculty, staff and students at the University and to the public.

York, who was chancellor emeritus of the State University System of Florida, served two terms on the board for International Food and Agricultural Development, including three years as chairman.

He conducted agriculture-related assignments for Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. He was internationally known for his work with sustainable agriculture. York, and his widow, the former Vam Cardwell of Evergreen, who is a 1946 Auburn graduate, have two children, Lisa and Travis.