CHARM Oral History Transcript Collection



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Oral history; Interview conducted with Rodney Foil on June 18 and 25, 2002 at Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University. Robert Rodney Foil was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana in 1934. He received his B.S. (1956) and M.S. (1960) in Forestry at Louisiana State University and completed his PhD in Forestry at Duke University in 1965. Foil also served two years in the Army and was for a short period, an industrial forester in Georgia. Before coming to Mississippi State University (MSU) in 1969, Foil worked for Louisiana State University, first at the North Louisiana Hill Farm Experiment Station and then as a statewide extension specialist in forestry at the LSU Baton Rouge campus. he also received his B.S. and M.S. degrees. He served at MSU as Head of the Forestry Department (1969-1971), Associate Dean and Head of Forestry (1971-1973), Dean of Forestry (1973-1978) and associate director of MAFES (1973-1978), Director of Experiment Station (1978-1986), and Vice-President for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine from 1986 until his retirement in 1999. General topics covered in the interview include the impact of mechanization on agriculture, impact of computers on farming, biotechnology, the Mississippi catfish industry, freshwater shrimp research, aquaculture, the impact of privatization on farming operations, environmental issues in agriculture, and academic and social changes at MSU.

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Mississippi State University--Employees--Interviews; Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station; Mississippi State University. Cooperative Extension Service; Mississippi State University--History; Mississippi State University--Administration; Farm mechanization; Biotechnology; Catfish fisheriesΓÇôMississippi; Shrimp--Research--Mississippi; Aquaculture--Mississippi; Forests and forestry--Mississippi; Privatization; Agriculture--Environmental aspects; Agricultural innovations; Crops--Mississippi; Agricultural education.



Geographic Location

Starkville (Miss.)

Object Type


Format (original)

document: 33 p.

Format (digital)


Digital ID

Rodney Foil Oral History.pdf


Mississippi State University Libraries, Special Collections Department, University Archives Division, CHARM Oral History Collection, Folder: Foil, Rodney


University Archives

Digital Publisher

Mississippi State University Libraries (electronic version)


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Interview with Rodney Foil