Charles Dana Bennett was born in Syracuse, New York, on
April 20, 1903. He attended private schools and Columbia
University. While at Columbia from 1920 to 1923, Bennett studied
journalism. He married Edith Thoman on September 20, 1924.
During the 1930s, Edith and Dana resided in Europe. In 1940,
Bennett served as public relations director for Governor George
Aiken of Vermont, who introduced him to agriculture. He worked for
the National Grange, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
and the National Cooperative Milk Producers Federation. Bennett
was a director of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, a
member of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a
participant in the Naval War College Global Conference.
In 1945, in concert with his farm
organization and agribusiness friends, Dana organized the
Foundation for American Agriculture. It was incorporated in the
state of Illinois and operated from offices in Washington, D.C.
The Foundation's stated purposes
were to inform the public about agribusiness, conduct research,
publish articles by persons prominent in agribusiness, increase
understanding in Rural and urban America about the role played by
agribusiness, and avail itself of all recognized media for the
dissemination of its educational programs.
The Foundation had a board of
sixteen persons from agriculture and sixteen persons from
agribusiness. The group held a men-only winter meeting at the
Chicago during the week following Thanksgiving in conjunction with
the International Livestock Exposition. Another meeting was held
during the late spring in differing locations.
Through Bennett's efforts, the
Foundation also formed the National Farm-City Council to sponsor
Farm-City Week. Another of his creations was the Farm Film
Foundation, which his wife Edith administered for many years. This
foundation distributed educational motion pictures to vocational
agriculture departments and other farm groups.
Charles Dana Bennett
passed away in Bethesda, Maryland, on February 15, 1987.