2012 ESS/SAES/ARD Meeting
2012 ESS/SAES/ARD Annual Meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, Experiment Station Section (ESS), State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) and Agricultural Research Directors (ARD) of 1890 Land Grants
Proposed by Vermont native Justin Morrill in 1862, the federal Morrill Land Grant Act made it possible to establish many U.S. land grant colleges that same year. During a time when private institutions educated students in law, philosophy, medicine, and theology, the new public colleges provided an accessible, broad education focused on agriculture and the mechanic arts (engineering). This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act, which Morrill – the son of a blacksmith – had hoped would provide better educational opportunities for the children of artisans, farmers, and laborers.
This year also marks the 125th anniversary of the federal Hatch Act of 1887 that was passed in response to the need for a vibrant agricultural research enterprise at each land grant college, creating the national system of State Agricultural Experiment Stations. Continuous USDA support for this system makes it possible for each state’s director to allocate funds that generate the agricultural infrastructure necessary for scientists and students to conduct meaningful research that is relevant to both state and national needs.