Kenyon L. Butterfield

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Kenyon Leech Butterfield
Head and shoulders photograph of a man in a Victorian suit.  He has a beard, a large mustache and is slightly balding.  He wears a serious expression and is looking slightly to the right.
Kenyon L. Butterfield c. 1922
President of the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, (now the University of Rhode Island)
In office
President of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts Amherst)
In office
President of
Michigan Agricultural College,
(now Michigan State University)
In office
Personal details
Born June 11, 1868
Lapeer, Michigan
Died November 25, 1936(1936-11-25) (aged 68)
Amherst, Massachusetts

Kenyon Leech Butterfield (June 11, 1868 – November 25, 1936) was an American agricultural scientist and college administrator known for developing the Cooperative Extension Service at the Land Grant Universities. He was president of the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (1903-1906); the Massachusetts Agricultural College (1906-1924), and the Michigan Agricultural College, (later Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, which is now Michigan State University) from 1924 to 1928.

Butterfield was an early proponent of extension education programming at the Land Grant Colleges rather than extension activities being a direct responsibility of the U.S Department of Agriculture, an idea championed by Extension pioneer Seaman A. Knapp.[1] Using state funds in April 1904, Butterfield created an Agricultural Extension Department at the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and later in 1906, he did the same at Massachusetts Agricultural College. The organizational structure of these two colleges formed the basis for developing the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 that authorized federal funding of comprehensive Cooperative Extension programming by Land Grant Colleges and Universities nationwide.[2]

Butterfield Hall at the University of Rhode Island, Butterfield House at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Butterfield Hall of the Brody Complex at Michigan State University are all dedicated in his name.

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ Butterfield, K.L. (1901). "VII. Discussions: A Significant Factor in Agricultural Education." Educational Review 21:301-306 (March, 1901).
  2. ^ Rice, M.A., S. Rodrigues and K. Venturini. "Philosophical & Institutional Innovations of Kenyon Leech Butterfield and the Rhode Island Contributions to the Development of Land Grant and Sea Grant Extension". Century Beyond the Campus: Past, Present, and Future of Extension A Research Symposium to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act September 24 – 25, 2014, West Virginia University. Waterfront Place Hotel, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA. Sep. 2014. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Kenyon L. Butterfield at Wikimedia Commons

Academic offices
Preceded by
David Friday
President of Michigan Agricultural College
Succeeded by
Preceded by
President of Michigan State College
of Agriculture and Applied Science

Succeeded by
Robert S. Shaw