Edward J. Bailey, Gregory County farm operator, a prominent certified seed producer in South Dakota, was born in Ida County, Iowa, May 16, 1894, to Edward A. and Jenny L. Bailey. He attended a two-year agricultural course at Iowa State College and worked as director of the county Farm Bureau and in a bank at Battle Creek, Iowa.
He married Merle N. Wheeler of Battle Creek on December 13, 1916. The couple moved to a ranch near Dixon, South Dakota, in Gregory County in 1921, and to their present ranch site near Lucas, South Dakota, in 1939.
The Baileys have raised six children: Edward of Martin, South Dakota; James of Rapid City, South Dakota; John of Buffalo, South Dakota; Jenny of San Diego, California; Mrs. Julius (Ellen) Bartling, Gregory, South Dakota; and Mrs. Faye (Nellie) Griffith, Kelso, Washington.
Mr. Bailey is a supervisor to the Gregory County Soil Conservation District and has attended many state area and national meetings of the organization. In June 1957, he was named by the governor to the State Soil Conservation Commission.
He is chairman of the County Extension Board and the Area Extension Board. In 1955, he was a member of the first State Extension Advisory Committee.
Mr. Bailey has served as county AAA (now ASC) committeemen, served in several ranch programs, and has been active in, and chairman for ten years, of the county Livestock Improvement Association.
As active member of the Gregory County Crop Improvement Association, Mr. Bailey showed the grand champion sorghum exhibit at the State Crop Show in both 1953 and 1954. He represented the state organization at a national meeting in Florida in 1955. He has been a member of the State Seed Certification Board since 1954.
In October 1957 he was named to an advisory committee for the Agricultural Division at State College.
In 1949 he began raising certified seed crops. He started with Norghum and Reliance sorghums and has also raised Selkirk and Nebred wheats. At present, he is increasing a new hybrid sorghum strain developed by State College agronomists. Certified sorghum is his main crop.
His efforts helped point up the selenium poisoning problem to State College, which has been doing research on selenium.