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5-22 IAN 150th
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio
Program: Today's Idaho Ag News
Date: May 22, 12
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Sometimes reverence for certain things is important.
In the aftermath of staggering casualties suffered during the bloody Union victory at Shiloh, federal armies were advancing cautiously on the critical Confederate rail center of Corinth, Miss., on May 15, 1862. On the same day in Washington, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation creating a Department of Agriculture. You know I got all the press releases that last Tuesday was the 150th anniversary of the USDA. I didn’t appreciate the relevance until I talked with Dick Rush, Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency. “Pres. Lincoln signed legislation to establish the US Department of Agriculture. To quote what he said, was that in order to acquire and diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture and to procure, propagate and distribute among the people new and valuable seeds and plants. He called the USDA the People’s department and of course almost everybody farmed back then and in 1862 I think we had a little over 31 million people in the US and today we have 313 million people, and less than 2% of them are farmers.”
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