Charles Valentine Riley
Charles Valentine Riley was born on September 18 1843, and died tragically in a bicycle accident on September 14, 1895. He left those concerned with providing food, clothing, and shelter for humanity a rich legacy of information, invention, and ingenuity. But above all, Charles Valentine Riley provided us with the example of his life, a model of the free spirit of scientific inquiry. His insights were drawn from the keen observation of nature as it really exists in the world around us, not as it may be distantly perceived from the ivory tower of academe or studied in the sterile environment of a laboratory. Charles Valentine Riley met Nature in the fields and the orchards where the farmers labored, and the meadows and the pastures where the animals grazed.
Charles Valentine Riley established the intellectual framework for modern agriculture. He believed that Agriculture must be well understood by those who vote and those who are chosen to lead and he devoted his life to that cause.
His youngest daughter, Dr. Cathryn Vedalia Riley sought to restore American Agriculture to its proper place in the heart and mind of the American people and re-establish the respect that American agricultural science and technology once held throughout the world. As a physician she recognized the ultimate needs of people for food, clothing and shelter and that the wise use of land and landscape and conservation of our finite natural resources are the fundamental obligations of civilization. She also recognized that technology, no matter how advanced, and scientific studies no matter how detailed, were of little value to Society without enough food, clothing and shelter. She hoped for an Economy which encourages and promotes technological innovation to support a civilization that would promote the evolutionary advance of the human spirit.