Dr. T.P Leacky -the father of the Jamaican Diary Industry
by Patrick Hodgson
Dr. Lecky receiving norman manley award Source:http://caribbean-icons.org
He developed the cattle, Jamaican Hope and more.
The Gleaner Thomas Lecky, was born on a small farm in Portland in 1904. He is the first Jamaican to receive a Ph.D. in agriculture, his work would revolutionize the Jamaican dairy industry and improve the lives of countless small farmers. full Gleaner article.
Caribbean Icons.org Dr Thomas Lecky’s interest in cattle farming and his concern for the poor people of Jamaica led to the development of three new breeds of cattle suited to a tropical environment - the Jamaica Hope, Jamaica Red and Jamaica Black. His technique has influenced cattle-breeding practices around the world.
Thomas Phillip Lecky was born on December 31, 1904 in Portland, Jamaica. He grew up on the slopes of the Blue Mountains where he watched his neighbours’ struggle with poverty and poor farming practices, an experience which made him determined to change his community for the better.
He began his education at the Swift River Primary School and when he was 17, he attended on a scholarship the Government Farm School (now the Jamaica School of Agriculture which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences CASE).
Afterwards, he worked as a bench chemist and then became a Livestock Foreman at the Hope Farm in 1925, where he assessed the suitability of imported breeds of cattle and tested their reaction to local conditions.
Lecky learned that the cattle available in Jamaica were not well suited to life on the hillsides where many small farmers had holdings. He saw this as a problem that should be overcome, since he believed that all small farmers should own cattle.
Cattle owners could sell milk frequently and have a young calf every year to help pay for their children’s school fees and other recurrent expenses. Full article