Chicago, IL | Certificate of Distinction: 1965
J. Rockefeller Prentice, Chicago, Illinois was born in New York, received his A.B. degree from Yale University in 1928 and his LL. B from that institution in 193 I. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1931 and practiced law in that city until 1941.
An officer in the Field Artillery in World War II, he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and a former president of the American Foundation for Biological Research.
Mr. Prentice's interest in agriculture began when his father purchased, in 1910, Mt. Hope Farm in Massachusetts. The dairy operations on this farm was the beginning of his pioneering efforts in improving livestock through selected and scientific breeding, and led to his involvement in the (at the time experimental) artificial breeding of cattle. He was a leader in the formation of the Chicago Farmer's Club, The American Dairy Cattle Club, and the American Dairy Guernsey Association of Illinois.
Following World War II, Rockefeller Prentice, (at a great personal and financial sacrifice) gave up his law practice and devoted all his efforts to the formation and management of the American Breeders Service. This company has emerged, to a great degree through Prentice's efforts, as a leader in artificial breeding.
It has been estimated that this company under Prentice's leadership has added over $3,500,000 to the net earnings of dairy and beef cattle farmers. This was not however of prime consideration to Rockefeller Prentice. His first and constant objective was to improve the lot of the American farmer through technological development.
The American scene has been changed repeatedly by pioneers who dared to do those things declared to be impossible or impracticable by most. Such a man was Rockefeller Prentice. We salute his devotion to the betterment of American agriculture.