D. W. Brooks Oral History Collection

Dublin Core

Subject

Georgia--History
Agriculture and Industry
Politics and Public Policy

Description

D. W. Brooks was a major figure in American agriculture. He was the founder and leader of Gold Kist, a farm cooperative, for almost fifty years and also served as an agricultural advisor to several U.S. Presidents. This collection consists primarily of oral history interviews with D.W. Brooks conducted by Brian S. Wills. D.W. Brooks discusses his family background, his childhood in Royston, Ga., his education, and his involvement with the Methodist church. He speaks extensively about topics related to farming and agriculture in Georgia, including the founding and development of Gold Kist, the poultry industry, fish and cattle production, cotton farming, and the federal government's involvement with farming co-ops. Brooks also discusses his contribution as an agricultural advisor to United States presidents and world leaders. Complimentary interviews in this collection with individuals such as former President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of State Dean Rusk provide additional perspectives on Brooks and his contributions.

Biographical information:

David William Brooks (1901-1999) was a farmer and cooperative executive. Brooks entered the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1918 and earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Agriculture. Concurrent to his Master's studies, Brooks taught agronomy at the university for four years and founded his first farm cooperative, the Georgia Cotton Growers Cooperative Association in Carrollton, in 1921, while he was teaching. In 1925, Brooks left UGA to devote all of his time to his cooperative. Due to a variety of factors, this cooperative failed. Upon the association's demise in 1933, Brooks immediately started another farm cooperative called the Georgia Cotton Producers Association. Renamed Cotton Producers Association (CPA) in 1934, and Gold Kist in 1974, this cooperative proved successful. By the late twentieth century, the company achieved Fortune 500 status and is currently a leading exporter of poultry in the world. Brooks started with CPA as the manager in 1933, and by his retirement at age 65, he was Chairman of the Board.

In 1941, Brooks also founded the Cotton Farmers Mutual Insurance Association, a company that provided fire and windstorm insurance to farmers. In 1955, Brooks set up a life insurance company for farmers, Cotton States Life and Health. Both companies have achieved continued success since their respective inceptions.

Brooks' agribusiness acumen and experience privileged him to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations under Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Brooks also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agribusiness Industry Advisory Committee. In 1954 he was a delegate to the American Assembly, which proposed changes in the United Nations Charter. He served as director of the Foundation for American Agriculture; Agricultural Missions, Inc., New York; and the National Council of Farmer Cooperative; and Chairman of the Board of Farmers Chemical Association in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At 86 years old, Brooks returned to the University of Georgia as a visiting professor of Agricultural Economics.

Creator

D. W. (David William) Brooks, 1901-1999

Publisher

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Date

1987-1988

Identifier

RBRL013DWBOH

Coverage

Georgia

Interviews in this Collection:

(RBRL013DWBOH-01A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ childhood in Royston, Georgia, his father, his educational background, his views on education and teaching, his conversion to Methodism, the beginning of his co-ops with farmers, and the…

(RBRL013DWBOH-01B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the Gold Kist philosophy, technology in broilers, the resurrection of the peanut industry, and Brooks’ mother’s philanthropy.

(RBRL013DWBOH-01C)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ ancestors’ involvement in the Civil War, his early life, his siblings, his work ethic and schedule, and his father’s political views.

(RBRL013DWBOH-02A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include life at the University of Georgia, the beginnings of Brooks' cotton co-op and the shift to poultry (Gold Kist), Gold Kist’s importance in the popularization of poultry production, Gold Kist…

(RBRL013DWBOH-02B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ wife and children, the federal government’s involvement with co-ops, troubles encountered with traditional farming methods, methods of operation in growing cotton, and overseas expansion.

(RBRL013DWBOH-02C)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the commodity credit, working with Roosevelt and Truman, the atomic bomb, being on the War Board, being involved with Point Four, “Stomach Communism,” and Eisenhower.

(RBRL013DWBOH-02D)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Senator Russell, integration, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and McGovern.

(RBRL013DWBOH-03A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, the embargo on Russia, the Iran hostage crisis, Ronald Reagan, and prospects for the 1988 presidential elections.

(RBRL013DWBOH-03B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ involvement in fighting world hunger, the Hunger Commission, and Emory University.

(RBRL013DWBOH-03C)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the “God is Dead” controversy at Emory University, the Methodist involvement in helping Jimmy Carter be elected president, Methodist missionaries, and Brooks' involvement with United Nations.

(RBRL013DWBOH-04A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include fishing in Alaska, Eskimos, research developments in hunger in Africa, economics and hunger, agriculture, politics and world hunger, America’s slipping economic position, past secretaries of…

(RBRL013DWBOH-04B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include training employees at Gold Kist and leadership at Gold Kist.

(RBRL013DWBOH-05A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ influences on how he runs Gold Kist, the human element of business, civil rights and the co-ops, and integration in the church and Gold Kist.

(RBRL013DWBOH-05B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the integration of Gold Kist, world hunger, Jimmy Carter’s run for presidency, the successes and failures of President Carter, and Ronald Reagan’s inner circle.

(RBRL013DWBOH-05C)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Harry Chapin and the World Hunger Commission/Committee, Brooks’ involvement in the Federal Trade Board, and U.S. markets.

(RBRL013DWBOH-06A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks' Alaska trip and Eskimo culture, Gold Kist’s expansion in the world market, cultural sensitivity, and exporting and foreign trade.

(RBRL013DWBOH-06B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek, poultry, Gold Kist’s future endeavors.

(RBRL013DWBOH-06C)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the National Council of Farmer Co-ops, Senator Richard B. Russell, and labor unions in the South.

(RBRL013DWBOH-07)

Brian S. Wills interviews Dean Rusk. Rusk discusses his first contact with D.W. Brooks, Gold Kist and foreign governments, Rusk's personal relationship with D.W. Brooks.

(RBRL013DWBOH-08)

Brian S. Wills interviews Jimmy Carter. Carter discusses his first acquaintance with D.W. Brooks, Brooks as special consultant in agriculture, the Presidential Commission on World Hunger, diplomatic relations with China, and the Iranian situation and…

(RBRL013DWBOH-09)

Brian S. Wills interviews James T. Laney. Laney discusses meeting D.W. Brooks at Emory University in Atlanta and the qualities of Brooks.

(RBRL013DWBOH-10)

Brian S. Wills interviews Fred C. Davison. Davison discusses the world impact of D.W. Brooks and his personal relationship with Brooks.

(RBRL013DWBOH-11A)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Charles Knapp’s relationship with President Jimmy Carter, the Iranian rescue mission and the C.I.A.’s past involvement in that country, Carter and the Methodist church, Brooks’ trip to Argentina…

(RBRL013DWBOH-11B)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include the Department of Agriculture and its difficulties with the federal government, the composition of the Gold Kist business board, and the relation between protectionism and politics, and economics.

(RBRL013DWBOH-11C)

Brian S. Wills interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include technological advancement and high productivity, American education, America’s future economic direction, attention to detail, and economics in a competitive world.

(RBRL013DWBOH-12A)

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Brooks’ relationship with President Richard M. Nixon during his service as agricultural advisor, Brooks' opinion of Nixon, Truman and Brooks’ position on the Korean War Mobilization Board,…

(RBRL013DWBOH-12B)

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks. Topcis include the beef crisis and Gerald Ford, Brooks' relationship with Jimmy Carter (as a peanut farmer and as Governor of Georgia), the decision to build the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Carter’s…

(RBRL013DWBOH-12C)

Harold H. Martin interviews D.W. Brooks. Topics include Carter and the Iran hostage crisis and rescue mission, Brooks' opinion of Carter; Carter, the press, and Burt Lance; Brooks' opinion of Burt Lance, the beginning of the Jimmy Carter Center and…

(RBRL013DWBOH-13)

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