Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Madill Farm Collection Highlights Over 60 Years of Productivity on a Local Family Farm

The Ball State University Libraries has digitized a collection of records that meticulously document the daily operations of a small family farm in rural Delaware County, Indiana from 1925 to 1987.

The Cecil A. Madill Farm Records digital collection provides online access to calendars, correspondence, account books and financial ledgers, farm labor and livestock records, agricultural event programs, and other records documenting the family farm business of Burl, Cecil, and David Madill located just outside Muncie, Indiana.

Cecil A. Madill farm

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Purdue University in 1925, Cecil A. Madill began renting and managing one-third of his father's hog and grain farm. He gradually took over more acreage and by 1974 was managing, in partnership with his son David, a 700 acre farm and producing approximately 2,500 hogs annually.

Cecil A. Madill plowing a field

Cecil Madill believed strongly in the application business management principles to agriculture and maintained detailed labor and financial records to analyze the productivity of his farm business.  From 1927 until at least 1980, he contributed his farm records to Purdue University's Indiana Farm Account Project reports summarizing the productivity of individual farms as well the productivity of farms of varying sizes and specializations in the state.

Madill farm Indiana Farm account book, 1929-1930

Madill served actively within the Indiana agricultural community, working extensively with the Farmers' Institute, Farm Bureau, Purdue University Agriculture Alumni organization, and the Eastern Indiana Livestock Breeders Association. In 1974, Madill was awarded the prestigious Master Farmer degree by the Prairie Farmer

Congratulatory letter to Cecil A. Madill from U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, 1974

The digital collection is accessible online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital MediaRepository.

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

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