1991 Pioneer Dairy Leader Award

Wm. C. “Bill” Eckles, Kirkwood, (1909-1986)

William C. Eckles had a long and distinguished career in the market milk industry. From the time he finished college in 1932 he held numerous positions in the market milk industry and in 1974 retired as the General Manager of the Pure Milk Products Cooperative, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, the largest milk producers association in the world.

“Bill” grew up on a 280-acre general livestock and grain farm at Green City, Sullivan County, MO. He graduated from high school in 1928 and enrolled at the University of Missouri where he majored in dairy products. He received a B.S. in Agriculture degree in 1932 and a Master’s degree in 1933. He furthered his studies on economics and marketing, as a part-time student at Washington University, while working in St. Louis. While an undergraduate student “Bill” was a member of the UMC Track Team and the Meats Judging Team. While he was in school he worked part time for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture as a milk inspector.

In 1933-34 he was employed by Pevely Dairy St. Louis and from 1934-36 as Supervisor of Tests, Sanitary Milk Producers, St. Louis. From 1.936-42, Market Service, Federal Milk Market Administrator, St. Louis and 1942-46 as Acting Administrator, St. Louis Federal Milk Order and from 1943-46 Agent for the U.S. War Food Order for the Decatur, Springfield, Illinois, and St. Louis area. From 1946-48 he was assistant to the Market Milk Administrator, Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1948 he became the manager of the Pure Milk Producers Association of Greater Kansas City. He moved from that position in 1954 to become the General Manager of the Pure Milk Products Cooperative, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. He retired from that position in 1974.

Mr. Eckles served on numerous committees and was a member of several organizations involved in marketing dairy products including: President, Kansas City Dairy Council 1950-51; President, Kansas Milk Producers Federation 1951; member National Milk Producer Federation; member MO Farm Bureau Dairy Committee. He was active in Boy Scout and Girl Scout work and in the Methodist Church.

“Bill” was married in 1935 to Beatrice Priscilla Glutz. The couple has three children, Mary Jean Eckles Siegfried, Owner PDQ Printing, Orlando, FL; William Paul Eckles, Marketing Research Manager, Nissan Motor Corp., in the U.S., Carson, CA, and Charles Stephen Eckles, Director of Marketing and Sales, Brentwood Home Video, Westlake Village, CA. Beatrice died in 1979 and in 1980 Mr. Eckles and Harriet Swartz Garard, of Columbia, MO were married. Harriet attended the University of Missouri, she was employed many years by the University Agriculture Extension Service as secretary to the late James Burch, Director, and later for Brice Ratchford, who succeeded Mr. Burch as Director. Dr. Ratchford then became President of the University of Missouri with Harriet continuing as his secretary. She and Bill formerly lived in Kirkwood where he moved after retirement. She now resides in Columbia.