Editor’s Note: This article was written by Matt Hayes managing editor for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell. It republished from the Cornell Chronicle with their permission.


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Nyle Brady, a longtime professor and leader in soil science at Cornell University, died Nov. 24 in Colorado at age 95.

Brady “was one of the giants of our field,” and yet known for his personable approach to students and colleagues, according to Pedro Sanchez ‘62, M.S. ’64, Ph.D. ’68, director of the Agriculture and Food Security Center and senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, whom Brady mentored.

Nyle Brady

Brady chaired the Department of Agronomy from 1955 to 1963, followed by a role as assistant dean at CALS until 1973. After retiring from Cornell in 1976, he worked in the Philippines as director of the International Rice Research Institute to combat poverty and hunger through the improvement of rice cultivation.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina.

“He was a giant in soil science and agriculture, and left an important legacy in many ways,” said Ray Weil, professor of environmental science and technology at the University of Maryland. The two co-authored several books still used as seminal texts in soil science.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.