Ceylon in the Rainer Schickele Papers

Rainer Schickele served with the Dept of Agricultural Economics  Peradeniya University in the 1960s and lived in Kandy. He was committed to the agricultural development of the island. On the 21st January 1969 he presented a paper on Land settlement Policy in Ceylon: A Tentative Proposal,” I note here that all the cyclostyled CSS papers are available at Peradeniya University >Librar and several university libraries in USA. 

Alas I do not have a photograph of Rainer (1905-1989). But it is with considerable pleasure that I note the availability of the SCHICKELE PAPERS at  NDSU, Institute for Regional Studies and University archives,  the North Dakota State University Libraries.  Note the followiing summary.”The Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Series consists of reports and papers Schickele wrote while helping the university and government build agricultural economic departments. The series consists of twelve progress reports that Schickele wrote in order for the ADC to monitor the progress of the program.The series also contains papers Schickele wrote regarding the current agricultural situation in Sri Lanka and how to rectify some of the problems.”

The NOTE above is taken from the following section  


 Collection number: Mss 22

Access:The collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Institute.Provenance:

Donated by David and Elizabeth Schickele 1997  (Acc 2460).

Property rights:The Institute for Regional Studies owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain withthe Institute for Regional Studies.

Citation: Rainer Schickele Papers, MS 224, Institute for Regional Studies,  North Dakota State University, Fargo.


Dr. Rainer Schickele was born on July 22, 1905 in Berlin, Germany. He attended Real Gymnasium at  Freiburg, Baden, Germany and received his Diploma in 1924. Schickele then attended the College of Agriculture, University of Berlin from which he received his Bachelor of Science (1926), his Master of Science (1930) and his Doctor of Philosophy (1931).  After receiving his Ph.D., Schickele did postgraduate work at Iowa State College (1931-1932) and then at the Brookings Institute (1933-1934). He later received the postdoctoral fellowship of the Social Science Research Council (1939-1940) and he chose to conduct his research at Harvard University. In 1935, Schickele became an instructor at Iowa State College and an associate professor in 1944.

During his time at Iowa State, Schickele was very active in the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station. After teaching at Iowa State, Schickele taught at George Washington University (1945-1946) before becoming Chairman of the Department of Agricultural Economics at North Dakota Agricultural College, now North Dakota State University. Schickele resigned as chair in 1954 in order to serve as head of the land and water use branch of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Schickele remained with FAO until 1965 when he joined the Agricultural Development Council, funded by John D. Rockefeller, III.

In 1967, Schickele went to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to help build an Agricultural Economics department at the university and within the government. Once he reached the ADC’s retirement age, Schickele served as a visiting professor at Michigan State, University of Minnesota and the University of Tennessee. He then served as a visiting scholar at Berkeley for several years. Schickele is the author of numerous papers and essays relating to farm practices that range from the free market to land tenure and planning. He is also the author of two books on agricultural practices.

In 1934 Schickele married Elizabeth Wilcox in Washington D.C.mThey had two sons: Peter, who taught at Julliard and composed numerous pieces of music for choirs and musicians, and David (1937-1999), who wrote and directed numerous documentaries and toured with the Robert Shaw Chorale.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The collection reflects Rainer  Schickele’s career as an instructor and anadvisor with the FAO and ADC. The majority of the collection is papers written by Schickele concerning land tenure and using economics as a means for agricultural planning.


Papers, Essays and Discussions

California Farms


Sri Lanka



Correspondence and Review Series

Book Review Series


NOTE: Rainer was a friend. He was committed to  scholarship and discussion. Shona and I stayed with the Schickeles in San Francisco on our wy back to Lanka after my year at University of Chicago on a Fulbright. I regret that we lost touch … no internet those days. 

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