John Mihm

John Mihm

1946 - 2019

Share Your Memory of

Obituary of John Mihm

A memorial service will be planned for the spring.

John Andrew Mihm was born on July 18, 1946, in Ivanhoe, to Andrew and Mary (Ochocki) Mihm. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church. He graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1964. He attended the University of Minnesota where he received first his B.S. degree and then a Ph.D. in Entomology in 1975.

In 1975, John joined the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), a non‑profit research and training center with direct links to about 100 developing countries through offices in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. John's home base was near Mexico City, Mexico, with trial-crop stations at base and on both coasts. During his twenty years with CIMMYT John worked on breeding plants resistant to corn stem-borers and other pests. Over the years, John contributed to numerous scientific journals and was mentioned for his work in TIME magazine in its Monday, August 19, 1991 issue. In 1994 an experimental corn with inbred resistance to corn spider mites was released thanks in part to John's work.

After 20 years with CIMMYT, John returned to Minnesota to join French Agricultural Research in 1995. His first job was to help develop a corn breeding station specializing in host plant resistance and other traits. His work first focused on developing corn with natural resistance to plant pests and to identify insect resistance already located on several genes within the corn plant. Results of his work have improved host plant resistance in field corn, white corn, sweet corn and popcorn.

John is survived by four siblings: Beverly Peterson of Arco, Martha Carr of New Prague, Zita Marczak of Apple Valley, and Kathleen Schisler of St. Louis, MO.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Philip and George and sisters Mary, Clara and Mathilda.