Floyd Carroll was born in Mt. Clare, Nebraska, the 9th of 12 children. He was raised on the family farm, graduated from Nelson, Nebraska High School in 1932, received a BS in Animal Husbandry and Meat Science in 1937 from the University of Nebraska, and earned an MS in Meats and Meat Processing under the direction of the USDA from the University of Maryland in 1939. During his undergraduate career, he was a member of the Livestock Judging Team, Farm House Fraternity, ROTC, Pershing Rifles Honorary Military Organization, Alpha Zeta, and Block and Bridle Club.
In 1939, Floyd came to UC Davis as a teaching assistant. He took time off from academia to serve as an officer in the US Army Air Force from 1942-1945. In 1944 he married Frances Marie Whitman. Floyd and Fran returned to UCD in 1946 where Floyd continued research and graduate studies toward a PhD in Nutrition, which he received in 1948. He was appointed as Instructor in 1949 and promoted to the rank of Professor in 1964.
Dr. Carroll took regular sabbatical leaves beginning in 1955 to the University of Ceylon on a Fulbright Grant. His second was in 1963 at the University of Hawaii working on the Western Regional Beef Cattle Improvement Project of the USDA. The Carrolls lived in Malcolm Hall, a women's residence hall on the UCD campus, as dorm parents from 1965-1967 and then spent the 1967-68 academic year at the University of Chile as representatives of the University of California in the California-Chile cooperative program. They were excellent representatives to this program as they had experience in foreign residence and proven interest in international agriculture. A short sabbatic in 1973 took the Carrolls to the CSIRO Meat Research Laboratory in Brisbane, Australia; on the way home they observed meat research laboratories, beef production systems, and range research projects in New Zealand, Western Samoa, Kenya, South Africa, and Argentina. Floyd's final leave, in 1976, was spent in residence, where he successfully established a sensory panel to consistently evaluate differences in eating characteristics of beef from normal and heterozygous double-muscled cattle.
Floyd's breadth of training and experience resulted in effective teaching of courses at all levels ranging through biochemistry, physiology, meat science, nutrition, and livestock production. His meat research in the 1970's contributed significantly to improved USDA beef grading standards.
The Carrolls welcomed students from all over the world into their home. Animal Husbandry graduate students were often welcomed to their house for parties. With their extensive foreign travel and keen interest in international livestock agriculture, Floyd and Fran Carroll have been valuable ambassadors of international good will. Throughout their years in Davis, they have been of great service to foreign students, visiting scientists, and livestock producers. Friendships of long standing have resulted. After Floyd's death, friends from Sri Lanka asked Fran to participate in a Buddhist ceremony honoring Floyd's memory.
At a dinner honoring him on his retirement in 1981, the following was printed in the program: "Two words which would characterize his career are "versatile" with regard to research and teaching, and "humanness", a word appropriately used by an individual from a foreign land to describe Dr. Carroll's relationship with people from all cultures.