One of the first women in her field, Harriette Eliza Cushman (1890-1978) worked as Extension Poultry Specialist at Montana State College from 1922 – 1955. Cushman’s life and career will be the topic of Amy McKinney’s presentation at the Cody library, 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.
McKinney is an associate professor of history at Northwest College. She earned her masters at Montana State University in Bozeman and her doctorate at the University of Calgary.
Cushman promoted cooperative marketing, taught scientific practice and promoted poultry farming to Native Americans across Montana. She was an advocate for the environment and actively mentored 4-H clubs.
She graduated with degrees in bacteriology and chemistry from Cornell University in 1914. She later earned special certificate in poultry husbandry from Rutgers University and became one of the few women pursuing a career as a poultry scientist.
The Northwest Turkey Federation she fostered ultimately made Montana’s turkey industry the most profitable in the nation even during the Great Depression (1929-38.)
Although she often worked more than 6 days a week and routinely traveled ten thousand miles yearly by train in her work, she was an avid outdoors-woman. Cushman camped, hiked and photographed the great outdoors.
She was a prolific letter writer and poet. Cushman helped her parents on her own modest salary.
After her retirement in 1954, Cushman devoted her considerable energy to Native American students at MSU. She posted 600 hand-written invitations to her own funeral suggesting that her friends support the Indian Center in her honor.
Nine years later when she died, Cushman willed her estate to the university, providing funds for both the Indian Center and a scholarship for outstanding American Indian students.
McKinney’s presentation is the first in a series of Professor of the Month Talks, which are produced by the Park County Library System, Park County Library Foundation, Northwest College Foundation and Northwest College in Powell.
Upcoming Professor of the Month talks include:
- Morgan Tyree’s drone photography display and more about the technology at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, February 24, 2018.
- Astrid Northrup will examine the Women in STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics) 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018.