Year Inducted: 

Milt Shuffett

Dallas Milton Shuffett’s life might be best told through the stories of his many students who credit him with setting them on paths to successful careers. His work in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Department of Agricultural Economics positively impacted many.

During his time in the classroom, he mentored many students as they pursued their academic and career goals. His impact was such that one of his former students endowed a scholarship in his honor.

Born on a Green County farm, Shuffett began his professional career working for the U.S. Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service at the county level and served as treasurer of the local organization. He then served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European theater.

After military service, he spent several months operating a farm but then began pursuing higher education, first at Campbellsville Junior College and then at UK. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UK in agricultural economics in 1948 and 1951, respectively. He earned his doctorate from UK in 1956. He worked briefly as a statistician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., while studying at American University as part of his graduate research.

In 1953, he joined the college as an assistant professor in agricultural economics and continued to move up the ranks to associate professor and professor. He served as vice chair of the department for 16 years and as chair for two years.

Shuffett’s expertise was in tobacco policy during a time when tobacco was the leading crop in the state. He was one of the world’s top specialists in this field. He served as a consultant to the Burley Farmers Advisory Council and the Council for Burley Tobacco. In 1978, he was named the Outstanding Tobacco Economist by the Tobacco Merchants Association of New York.

His work led him to consult with many entities over the years, including with the USDA on developing a tobacco research program. He had great impact on both the state and national level to this industry during his long and prolific career.

In 1987, Shuffett was tapped to become the college’s associate dean for research and associate director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. He served in this role until retiring from the university in 1992 and today lives in Campbellsville.