[MUSIC PLAYING] LINDA DAVIS: I was born July 11, 1930, in Denver, Colorado, and came back immediately to a ranch in northeastern New Mexico, the Tequesquite ranch at Albert, New Mexico, in the northeastern corner.
It was named after my great uncle who was killed in a night herding accident back in the 1890s. And the little post office was known as Tequesquite, which is a very difficult to spell and to say. And so after he was killed, the folks at this little town of Tequesquite voted to name it after Albert Nell.
It's on the ranch that I was raised on. And there's nobody there anymore. The ranch headquarters is about five miles from it. So it's sort of a little, abandoned town. There's a graveyard there. And I live on the CS ranch headquarters about seven miles east of Cimarron, New Mexico. It's a cow calf operation.
And we raise feeder-- we raise calves, feeder calves, for the-- to produce meat for the tables of America. And we also raise-- have some quarter horse-- some good quarter horse mares. And we raise some horses. At one point, the ranch did have some race horses, but we never-- we no longer do that. And we have just the quarter horse ranch horses.
My dad had graduated from Cornell in the class of 1917, the war class, which graduated early. And he was always very proud of his years in Ithaca. And then when I got to be thinking about college, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Herrell De Graaf give a talk at the Saddle and Sirloin club in Chicago during-- and he was a professor of agricultural economics, had the Babcock chair in the agricultural school at Cornell.
And he gave a fascinating talk on world agriculture in November of 1947. And I heard that talk and realized that the future of agriculture, those of us that are in the business, we needed to study what our challenges are going to be and what the world, after the Second World War, how the world was turning and changing.
And so I decided I wanted to go to Cornell. My father was quite against it. When he'd been at Cornell, he said that if a Cornell man dated a Cornell girl, he was kicked out of his fraternity. And so the women at Cornell have always had to hold their own.
Also, the women at Cornell had to live in a dormitory, could not wear pants, and could not have a car. So I went up to Cornell and spoke to Dean William Myers, who had been in my dad's class. The two of them sat next to each other. And they graduated in the same year at Cornell.
And Bill Myers told me that he had four daughters. And they were very respectable and that all graduated from Cornell. And between myself and Dean Myers, we convinced my dad that I should go to Cornell. And I was fortunate enough to be accepted and was in the class of '53.
Well, I got on the judging team. And I'd never-- I'd been with beef cattle all my life. I'd never been around dairies. I'd never been around draft horses, big draft horses. And in those days, we judged sheep, hogs, and dairy cattle and draft horses. And so it was a fascinating experience for me.
And also while I was at Cornell, the dean of the ag school was also the polo coach. And so I got to exercise the polo ponies at Cornell, ride the polo ponies and exercise them for him. And that was one of my great experiences.
Well, I think those years at Cornell broadened my horizon. I had never been east of the Mississippi until I went back to two years of prep school before I went to Cornell. And I saw how the world after the second war, world war, was changing.
And Cornell, my experience with-- Dr. De Graaf was my advisor. And his courses were just amazing and taught us about the problems of the world and all the different agricultural production worldwide. It was a broadening experience.
And he expanded your vision and made you realize if you're in agriculture, you have a responsibility to the rest of the human beings on the world to see that they are fed. And food and fiber is the primary thing in agriculture.
The experience at Cornell and meeting the people from all over the country and all over the world then. I remember we had a man from the Gold Coast of Africa. And now the Gold Coast is one of the-- is no longer known as the Gold Coast. But this man was in his 30s.
And of course, this was post-war. We had a lot of older people in our classes. It wasn't just teenagers in the freshman class. And how much this experience meant to him to be able to come really across the world and be involved in learning about agricultural production post-Second World War. So I got to see the evolution of the mechanization of agriculture.
Well, I've been on the President's Council of Cornell Women. And I'm involved with that. And that's been a wonderful experience and gotten me back to Cornell with able to be involved with some of the changes and also helping to see that the women at Cornell, the women professors and the women students, are treated as first class citizens.
Well, I have six grown children. My husband and I were married back in 1953. He was a Second World War veteran. And we raised six children-- four boys and two girls. And they're all still involved in the ranch operation and have various kinds of responsibilities.
And everybody works together well. We're a family-owned ranch operation producing beef calves for to help feed the world. And my husband passed away in 2001.
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PCCW member Linda Davis '53 reflects on how she chose Cornell, her memories of the university, and how Cornell has shaped her life both personally and professionally.
The President's Council of Cornell Women is a group of highly accomplished alumnae working to enhance the involvement of women students, faculty, staff, and alumnae as leaders within Cornell University and its many communities.