Harold Huxford Beaty headed the electric power and processing division of the department for twelve years before his retirement in 1970. During this period, he built a strong staff and as a result the program in the processing area has received national recognition in teaching, research, and extension programs. He exhibited a unique ability for organizing and coordinating activities among the department, the USDA, electric power suppliers, and the Cooperative Extension Service. As executive secretary of the Illinois Farm Electrification Council he worked in an organized way with all the rural electric cooperatives and power suppliers to rural areas throughout Illinois. He also taught a number of undergraduate courses and gave guidance to graduate students.
Beaty came to Illinois from eight years of service with the Edison Electric Institute in New York. There, along with many other activities, he developed the Interindustry Farm Electric Utilization Council and arranged the production of a motion picture. Earlier, he served as extension agricultural engineer in rural electrification at Iowa State University, and his strong rural electrification program in Iowa served as a model for other states. He was a native of Iowa, with a B.S. in electrical engineering and an M.S. in agricultural engineering from Iowa State. Beaty was the senior brother-in-law of the Skromme family-his wife, Judith Beaty, being the older sister of four brothers, who were all agricultural engineers.