Helen Marie Maddock

Honored by:Patricia Essex
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Being female has never kept my aunt, Helen Marie Maddock, from accomplishing anything she set her mind to doing. She grew up on a farm in northwest Ohio one of three sisters in a family where the father's work kept him away from home most of the time. Since Helen was the only sister to be interested in farm-related activities, she gladly assisted her mother in caring for the livestock and in doing other outside chores. She was rewarded with a Jersey heifer, Magnolia, which freshened when she was in the seventh grade. In order to keep the money from the sale of the cow's milk for herself Helen was expected to do more than her share of chores so as to pay for Maggy's feed. Also, once the milk sales began, Helen was required to pay her own personal expenses and got no further money from her folks except for food and lodging.

Just before her senior year in high school, Helen had to make a tough adjustment when the family moved from their small-town to Chicago because of her father's work. However, in her inimitable style, she graduated fourth in her class and won a scholarship to Illinois Institute of Technology where she planned to major in chemistry. After graduation she became the first female employee of the Chicago Copper and Chemical Company working as an assistant in the chemistry lab. The lone chemist quit before the end of the summer and Helen was persuaded to continue working for a year. She put up with sexual harassment and environmental hazards (unheralded in those days) and decided being a chemist was not for her. With the money she was saving from her pay (fifty cents an hour plus time and half for Saturdays) she figured she could go to a state university and study animal science which then was called animal husbandry. The plant engineer and the president of the company influenced her to choose Iowa State College. Helen's parents agreed to pay her room and board and she paid all the other costs for her four years at lowa State. The first year cost her just over $700 and depleted her savings by a third but she worked summers and managed to meet the ever-increasing costs of her education.

As an undergraduate, Helen was a loyal Lyon Hall resident where she boosted its intramural sports achievements and served as both vice president and president. She was elected President of the Iowa State Women's Athletic Association (before women were allowed to compete in intercollegiate sports--much to her consternation), and she was honored by being selected to membership in the WAA "I" fraternity. Activities in the Department of Animal Science's club, Block and Bridle, also held Helen's attention. She believed in full participation in college activities as well as in academic excellence.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science in 1949 from ISU, Helen was employed by the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station in its Swine Nutrition Research Section. She continued her studies on a part-time basis receiving a Masters of Science degree in Animal Nutrition in 1952. Over the course of her ISU years, Helen was involved in the early research on antibiotics vitamins and protein requirements of swine. She was named to Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta honorary societies. At this time in our history, of course, few women sought advanced degrees much less pursued them in agricultural fields. Thus, Helen is surely one of ISUs pioneering women. American Cyanamid Company hired Helen in 1953, and she worked for that company until her retirement in 1986. (She still accepts consulting assignments with the firm.) Her tasks revolved around the use of antibiotics with livestock, particularly hogs, as she fulfilled the various roles of technical writer, advertising manager, product manager, and program manager. While with Cyanamid, Helen contributed to the defense of antibiotic use at Congressional and FDA hearings. She also was responsible for using Jasper, the 1969 International Grand Champion barrow, to promote the ideal market hog via slides, a movie, a booklet, and a model. (This advertising effort was so successful that not only do her nieces and nephews all recognize Jasper when they see his sturdy plastic model, so do her grandnieces and grandnephews!)

Helen's professional activities were admired by her peers throughout her thirty-eight years in the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and culminated with her selection as an Honorary Fellow of the ASAS in 1987. She was the first and is still the only woman to be so honored. The ASAS based this award upon her long and active participation in the animal industry where notable activities include being the first woman member of the AFMA Nutrition Council, serving as Chair of the Swine Research Committee, belonging to the Executive committee, working with NPPC in establishing the National Pork Queen scholarship, being active in the National Agricultural Marketing Association, acting as National Publicity Chair for Agricultural Day, and serving on the editiorial advisory board of Agrimarketing. Helen continues to ne a member of the ASAS.

Helen’s professional and personal interest both took her traveling to new and exciting place. While there, she would camp, backpack, climb mountains, raft, canoe, or go sightseeing. Without fail, Helen would bring home a taste of that new place—via slides, postcards, or souvenirs—to transmit to her nieces and nephews the excitement of being a global citizen. She truly has been a inspirationfor her friends and family members. For many facets of my own life, Helen has been a role model. Heve when I was young, I could see how much my aunt had accomplished, and she made success seem inevitable if one worked hard and used common sense.

Education is important to Helen. Her ISU education was instrumental to her professional fulfillment in a male-dominated field. Aware of education’s value, Helen continues to encourage young people to get college educations in areas that are both profitable and fulfilling. She has helped financially at least five nieces and two friends in their own pursuit of education.

For her many achievements and her leadership history, Helen Marie Maddock is much deserved of a place in the Plaza of Heroines at her alma mater, Iowa State University. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to honor her.

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia A. Essex, Ph.D.

November 6, 1994

Submitted on 11/6/1994