Demchenko, Mariia Sofronovna
Born Aug. 26 (Sept. 8), 1912, in the village of Starosel’e, in present-day Gorodishche Raion, Cherkassy Oblast. Initiator of a mass movement of kolkhoz workers to obtain high sugar beet harvests. Became a member of the CPSU in 1939.
From 1930 to 1936, Demchenko was field-team leader on the Comintern Kolkhoz in Gorodishche Raion. At the second All-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Shock Workers (1935), she . vowed to grow not less than 500 centners of sugar beets per hectare, which she successfully fulfilled, obtaining 523.7 centners of sugar beets per hectare. Demchenko’s initiative turned into a great socialist competition, which was named the five-hundreders’ movement. In 1945, Demchenko graduated from the Kiev Agricultural Institute. From 1945 to 1958 she was an agronomist at the Vasil’ev Kolkhoz (later a sovkhoz) of Dymer Raion in Kiev Oblast. In 1961, after finishing graduate work, she worked on experimental plots at the Vasil’ev Sovkhoz. She retired in 1965. She was a deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. She was awarded the Order of Lenin and the large gold medal of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition.