John R. Parrish


John R. Parrish was born October 4, 1907, near Clanton in Chilton County, Alabama. He received the B.S. degree in agriculture in 1929 and the M.S. degree in animal science in 1936, both from Auburn University.

After serving as vocational agriculture teacher at Uriah and Red Level, Parrish began his Extension Service career in 1938 as assistant county agent in Dale County. He was county agent in Randolph County from 1940 until 1948 when he moved to Auburn as Extension dairy specialist, a position he held until retirement in 1973.

Parrish made significant contributions to Alabama during every period of his career. His leadership and creative educational programs had a major impact on Alabama’s dairy industry and helped dairymen make the transition into modern operations in the years following World War II. He helped develop a statewide dairy herd improvement testing program that saved dairymen millions of dollars through improved management. He organized schools and conferences for Alabama dairymen and milk processors and directed educational tours throughout the United States and Canada for 4-H dairy project winners.

A member of the Parkway Baptist Church, Parrish was a life deacon, trustee, and adult Sunday School superintendent. He served as president and secretary of the Auburn Outing Club and Village Conservation Club.

Parrish was honored for his service to agriculture by the Alabama Legislature, the American Dairy Association, and Alabama State Fair, and was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of Agriculture.

Parrish was married to the former Frances Baggett. They have one son, Dr. John O. Parrish, and two grandsons.