L. Aubrey Smith


Aubrey Smith was born in Tallassee, Alabama, and in early childhood moved to a small farm between Eclectic and Tallassee. Upon graduation from Elmore County High School, he enrolled at Auburn University and graduated in 1942 with a degree in agricultural science.

After graduating from Auburn, he went to work with the Soil Conservation Service in Selma, beginning a long and storied career in Dallas County. His career was interrupted by World War II, and in 1943, he joined the 101 Airborne Di st vision’s Medical Corps. After narrowly missing capture by German soldiers in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, he made his way back to Bastogne and was part of the heroic stand that proved to be the final blow to the German military in World War II.

In 1945, he returned to Selma with the Soil Conservation Service and later spent time in Montgomery and Talladega counties. In 1951, he returned to Dallas County as assistant superintendent of the Black Belt Substation in Marion Junction. In 1957, he was promoted to superintendent, the position he held until his retirement in 1985.

During his career at the Black Belt Substation, Smith played a key role in modernization of the beef industry. The Black Belt Substation, under his leadership, became a pioneering research center for the study of crossbreeding and animal genetics. The Angus-Hereford crossbred cattle tested are a part of the development of the standards by which all crossbred cattle are measured today. During Smith’s tenure at the Black Belt Substation, Auburn became a leader in fescue toxicity research. This station was also one of the first research stations to do work on hay conditioning and large bale storage and management.

Smith is a charter member and past president of the Auburn University Agricultural Alumni Association. He is a member of the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame, and he was the “The Progressive Farmer” Man of the Year in Service to Alabama Agriculture in 1985.

In 1941, Smith married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn McQueen. During their 55 years together they reared three children and now play a key role in the lives of seven grandchildren. With both children and grandchildren graduating from Auburn, Smith’s family include three generations of War Eagles.