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History of Ezra Taft Benson, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
Ezra Taft Benson
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Ezra Taft Benson was born 4 August 1899 in Whitney, Idaho. His father owned a farm which required the labor of each family member, and Benson spent his early life working in the fields, milking cows, and doing other chores. After successfully completing his scholastic requirements, he matriculated from the Oneida Stake Academy. He then attended Utah State University before serving in the Army during World War I. Following his discharge, he served an LDS mission to Great Britain. After two years of full-time missionary work, he returned to the United States and enrolled at Brigham Young University. After graduating in 1926 with honors from BYU, he and his bride, Flora Amussen, a Logan, Utah, native, traveled to Iowa State College where he completed a Master's Degree.

At twenty-seven, Benson returned to the family farm. Soon thereafter he was appointed Franklin County Agent. By 1932 he was living in Boise, Idaho, and serving as economist/extension specialist, directing the marketing efforts of the University of Idaho's Extension Division. Seven years later, in 1939, he accepted an offer to become executive secretary of the National Council of Farmer's Cooperatives, and moved to Washington, D.C. Not a desk-bound administrator, Benson traveled a great deal and became acquainted with the full scope of agriculture in the United States.


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