Walter Eugene Packard was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1884, the son of Clara Adelaide (Fish) and Samuel Ware Packard. After
high school he attended Iowa State College at Ames, graduating in 1907 with the degree of Bachelor of Scientific Agriculture.
In 1909 he received his M.S. degree from the University of California at Berkeley and married Emma Lou Leonard, also a 1907
graduate of Iowa State College. Their first home was in El Centro where Packard worked for the University of California College
of Agriculture to establish and then supervise the Imperial Valley Experimental Farm. In 1917 he moved to Berkeley as Assistant
State Leader of Farm Advisors. He was granted leave of absence from April to July, 1919 to serve in the Army Education Corps
as consultant to returning soldiers interested in obtaining land. While still on leave he both studied and taught economics
at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Shortly after returning to Berkeley, Packard accepted the position of
superintendent of the Delhi State Land Settlement, a University of California sponsored project. He resigned in 1924 and became
a private consultant. From 1926 -1929 he worked for the Mexican government as Jefe del Departamento Agronómico de 1a Comisión
Nacional de Irrigación, making reconnaisance studies of potential irrigation projects. Returning to California he spent the
next several years engaged in consulting work including a study of potential benefits of the proposed Central Valley Project
and the feasibility of the Columbia River Basin Project. From 1933 to 1938 Packard worked with the Agricultural Adjustment
Administration and then the Rural Resettlement Administration becoming Regional Director and finally National Director. Consulting
work from 1939 to 1945 included a study of Linn County, Oregon for the Farm Security Administration and a report on the Central
Valley Project for the Haynes Foundation. In 1945 he became land consultant to Rexford Guy Tugwell, Governor of Puerto Rico,
and in 1948 went to Greece, first as irrigation specialist for the American Mission for Aid to Greece and then as chief of
land reclamation for the Economic Cooperation Administration.
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