Iur’ev, Vasilii Iakovlevich
Born Feb. 8 (20), 1879, in the village of Virga, now in Nizhnii Lomov Raion, Penza Oblast; died Feb. 8, 1962, in Kharkov. Soviet breeder and plant grower. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1945); member of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1956); honorary member of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1956). Twice Hero of Socialist Labor (1954, 1959); Honored Scientist of the Ukrainian SSR (1949). Member of the CPSU from 1956.
Upon graduation from the Novoaleksandriia Institute of Agriculture and Forestry in 1905, Iur’ev worked as a district agronomist in Penza Province. He joined the staff of the Kharkov Selective Breeding Station in 1909, becoming its director in 1944. Beginning in 1937, Iur’ev was a professor at the Kharkov Agricultural Institute. In 1946 he became the director of the Institute of Genetics and Selective Breeding of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. From 1956 until his death, he directed the Ukrainian Research Institute of Plant Growing, Selection, and Genetics, which is named for him.
Iur’ev is one of the founders of the selective breeding and seed growing of agricultural crops in the USSR. He developed many varieties of wheat, rye, barley, oats, millet, and corn. His main works deal with the selective breeding and varietal testing of agricultural crops.
Iur’ev was a deputy to the third, fourth, and fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainain SSR. A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR in 1947, he was also awarded five Orders of Lenin and various medals.