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Alvin Kezer

photo of Alvin Kezer

Degrees Awarded

  • B.S. University of Nebraska – 1904
  • M.S. University of Nebraska – 1906
  • Years at CSU – 1909 to 1946


Awards and Recognition

  • Charter Member, American Society of Agronomy – 1907


Positions Held

  • Assistant Bureau of Plant Industry, USDA, Lincoln, Nebraska,


  • Professor, Soils, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska,


  • First Head, Department of Agronomy, Colorado Agriculture College


When the Department of Agronomy at the Colorado Agricultural College was established in 1909 as a separate administrative unit, Alvin Kezer was appointed as its first Department Head.  He earned his Bachelor’s (1904) and Master’s (1906) degrees at the University of Nebraska and served as Professor of Soils there before moving to Fort Collins. He was a Charter Member of the American Society of Agronomy in 1907 and was highly regarded professionally among his peers.  At Nebraska his research interests were yellow berry disease in hard winter wheat, copper sulfate for pond scum, and inoculation of soils with alfalfa bacteria. In Colorado, he investigated a wide range of problems in soils and crops, including a genetic study on wheat and barley crosses just 18 years after Gregor Mendel had published his Mendellian Laws of Inheritance.

During World War I Mr. Kezer legally changed his name from Keyser to Kezer allegedly because the pronunciation of Keyser was too similar to the German Kaiser!  Mr. Kezer served as department Head for 47 years, a remarkable record.  He was justifiably proud of his contributions in building the framework for the successful Department that is ours today.

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