Agriculture and Natural Resources, Institute of (IANR)


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THE years from about 1909 to 1923 were the crowning years in the history of the College of Agriculture. Could Professor Thompson, the first professor of agriculture, and those early residents of the state! who wagged their heads at agricultural education have stepped into the farm campus in 1923, Professor Thompson would have found his most sanguine dreams more than realized, while those who scoffed perhaps would have remained to learn. They would have found nine great buildings devoted exclusively to experimentation and instruction, among them the finest agricultural engineering building in the world, a dairy building famous thruout the West, and the best equipped animal pathology plant in the Mississippi Valley. Instead of an unattractive farmstead of the seventies they would have found a magnificent campus laid out with trees and flower beds, a paved street running alongside the farm, and street cars to the door of the institution. Instead of ten or fifteen students: studying agriculture, they would have found some one thousand students, men and women, about half of them enrolled in a practical high school course emphasizing agriculture and home economics and the other half enrolled in a regular college course. They would have found some seventy members of the college faculty, and nearly as many more connected with other branches of college activity, a great state-wide Agricultural Extension Service reaching every corner of the state with its force of county agents and extension specialists, three experimental substations in western Nebraska, a school of agriculture at Curtis, Neb., and a fruit farm near Union.

If the preceding period, dating from about 1890 to 1909, was the period in which agriculture came into its own, this was the period in which the Agricultural College came into its own. The first big thing that happened during these years was the action of the Legislature in 1909 in dividing the Industrial College into a College of Engineering and a College of Agriculture. Once more the College of Agriculture was a unit by itself. The next big thing was the provision of the Legislature in the same year for two additional substations to be maintained in connection with the College of Agriculture. One of these was located at Valentine, and the other near Mitchell. With the substation at North Platte, this now made three substations under the control of the University. Then, in 1911, came provision for the school of agriculture in western Nebraska, located at Curtis.