Milton Whitney (1860 - November 11, 1927) was a soil surveyor and the inaugural Chief of the Division of Agricultural Soil in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Weather Bureau, the predecessor to the Bureau of Soils (which has itself evolved into today's National Cooperative Soil Survey). Beginning his career as a Professor of Geology and Soil Physics at the Maryland Agricultural College, Whitney took unconventional stances, proven to be correct with time, that gained him attention in the field and made him a logical choice to lead the USDA's soil bureau when it was established in 1894. He continued to publish research and propose innovative solutions to vexing problems, some of which proved to be inaccurate but led other researchers to test similar theories on soils that were eventually vindicated.