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History of American Agricultural Research


A “History of Agricultural Experimentation in the United States, 1607–1925”, by A. C. True, has just been issued as Miscellaneous Publication No. 251 by the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. This is the third official monograph in a series intended to give a comprehensive summary of the history of agricultural education, extension and research in the United States, the two previously issued having dealt with agricultural instruction in schools and colleges, and the history of agricultural extension work respectively. The present volume naturally begins with the work of private individuals including some biographical information, and shows how they and organizations such as the geological surveys and the Patent Office, themselves little concerned with research, laid the foundations of public agencies for agricultural investigation. It will be noted with interest that the first governmental movement to help agriculture was made when George Washington was president, while Federal State aid for the agricultural experiment stations, founded by pioneers all over the country, was secured by Hatch in 1887 by the passage of an Act bearing his name. The rapid development of research from this period up to 1913, the effects of the Great War and the agricultural depression of 1921–25 are then described in detail. A bibliography of more than three hundred references is appended. These are limited to sources of information used in the text and to bibliographical sketches of some of the leading figures in the earlier periods of agricultural development in the United States.

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History of American Agricultural Research. Nature 141, 508 (1938).

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