The Morrill Act of 1862 provided for public higher education by
colleges in every state and territory endowed through grants of public
lands -- thus, land grant institutions. The passage of the Hatch Act in
1887 provided research at these institutions by authorizing a state agricultural
experiment station for each state to undergird the educational mission.
State agricultural experiment stations are located in every state and territory,
covering all the ecological, environmental and socioecomomic regions of
The Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station, an integral part of Colorado
State University, was established in 1888 as a result of the Colorado General
Assembly's having ratified during the preceding year the provisions of
the Hatch Act. State and federal funds support the research program of
Colorado agriculture is as varied as the state's climate and responsive
to the different environments throughout the state. The irrigated and dryland
farms, orchards, ranches and feedlots of Colorado produce a diverse array
of crops and livestock. These enterprises require expertise in many scientific
areas to enhance profitability, protect the environment, sustain our natural
resources and improve the well-being of rural Colorado and all consumers.
||The Morrill Act is signed into law by President
Abraham Lincoln, establishing a national system of Colleges, devoted to
agriculture and the mechanic arts and partially funded by federal land
||Territorial Governor Edward M. McCook signs
legislation designating Fort Collins as the site of Colorado's Morrill
||Colorado becomes a state.
||The State Agricultural College of Colorado,
governed by a State Board of Agriculture, is formally organized; the board
institutes an experimental farm at the Fort Collins campus.
||Classes begin at the College.
||The Experimental Department, headed by Ainsworth
Blount, is established at the College.
||The Hatch Act is passed by Congress. This legislation
promotes agricultural research by supporting a system of State Agricultural
Experiment Stations, most of which are associated with the Morrill-Act
Colleges. Soon thereafter the Association of American Agricultural Colleges
and Experiment Stations, composed of representatives from each state's
land-grant College and Experiment Station, is formed.
||An Agricultural Experiment Station is established
at Colorado's Morrill-Act College in accordance with Hatch Act provisions.
It is based at Fort Collins, but operates regional sub-stations at Rocky
Ford and Del Norte. Charles L. Ingersoll, the president of the College,
serves as the station's first director.
||The second Morrill Act becomes law, providing
additional federal funding for the land-grant Colleges and establishing
institutions of this kind for black students in southern states.
||Walter J. Quick, professor of agriculture at
the College, succeeds Charles Ingersoll as director of the Colorado Agricultural
Experiment Station. In addition, a sub-station is established at Table
||Alston Ellis, president of the College, concurrently
assumes the position of station director.
||The Rainbelt sub-station is established at Cheyenne
Wells in Colorado's semi-arid eastern plains region.
||Problems emanating from the Panic of 1893 and
a related national economic depression necessitate suspension of all sub-station
work in Colorado except for limited activity at Cheyenne Wells and Rocky
||Louis G. Carpenter, head of the College's department
of Civil and Irrigation Engineering, becomes director of the Agricultural
||Congress passes the Adams Act, providing supplemental
funding to State Agricultural Experiment Stations to support "original"
theoretical research; heretofore, virtually all station investigations
had had a practical application (i.e., solving an actual local problem).
||Regional sub-station work is resumed fully at
Cheyenne Wells and Rocky Ford, and subsequently expanded to new installations
at Fort Lewis, Austin, and Avon.
||Clarence P. Gillette, head of the College's
department of Entomology and Zoology, becomes director of the Agricultural
||Congress enacts the Smith-Lever Act, establishing
a federally coordinated cooperative extension service at the Morrill-Act
Colleges. This legislation formally and tangibly acknowledges the Morrill-Act
College's threefold mission of teaching, research, and extension work.
Moreover, it encourages station scientists to concentrate on experimental
||The USDA, in response to an appeal by local
potato growers, establishes a research station in Greeley, to investigate
diseases harmful to this commodity. In 1924, the College takes charge of
this facility, and cooperates with the USDA in conducting various research
programs. Early in 1968 CSU assumes exclusive control and renames the facility,
the Northern Colorado Research-Demonstration Center.
||Research is instituted near Hesperus to test
the adaptability of selected crops and forest trees to high altitude conditions.
Scientific investigations at what will become the San Juan Research Center
subsequently includes activity at the Yellow Jacket unit near Cortez (1962)
and the Arriola unit (1976). Notable research activity include development
of the San Juan Select pinto bean and drylands environmental impact studies
related to the Dolores River Reclamation Project and the Animas-La Plata
||The Colorado Seed Laboratory is established
by the state legislature as a component of the station's botany section,
in order to certify the purity of existing seed and to conduct related
||The United States becomes a combatant in World
||Home Economics section is added to Agricultural
||Agronomy farm is established at USDA Horse Breeding
project site, one half mile east of main campus.
||The Austin branch station (known as the Austin-Rogers
Mesa unit after an addition in 1961) is established to conduct deciduous
tree fruit research. Centers at Fruita (1952, 1964) and at Orchard Mesa
(1961), furthering this work and irrigated field crops inquiries, eventually
become the Western Slope Branch Stations.
||A Rural Economics and Sociology section is added
to the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Congress passes the Purnell Act expanding Experiment
Station investigations into the areas of agricultural economics and rural
||Emil P. Sandsten, head of the department of
Horticulture, becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Congress enacts the Bankhead-Jones Act significantly
expanding federal support for Experiment Stations, but making most funding
contingent on matching state appropriations and varying distributions to
reflect a state's relative percentage of rural population. This law also
provides for a special research fund for the USDA to use in establishing
and maintaining regional agricultural laboratories.
||Charles L. Kick, head of the animal husbandry
department, becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, but
dies shortly after assuming office. Isaac E. Newsom, head of the pathology
department, serves as acting director.
||The United States enter World War II.
||Homer J. Henney, dean of the division of agriculture,
becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Congress passes the Research and Marketing Act
in part to avert problems that had afflicted the agricultural economy following
World War I. In addition to encouraging marketing research projects, the
new law supports cooperative regional work (with a special administrative
"committee of nine" to plan and oversee agreed upon investigations) and
studies pertaining to rural society.
||The Mountain Meadow Research Center is instituted
as a cooperative undertaking involving the College and the USDA's Soil
and Water Research Division. Work is headquartered at Grand Junction until
1969 when it is moved to Gunnison. Studies involving high altitude hay
production, cattle growing, and poisonous range plants receive emphasis.
||After helping to operate a demonstration farm
since 1940, the San Luis Valley Potato Improvement Association donates
this facility, located near Center, Colorado, to the College. Subsequent
research includes studies to develop new potato varieties, mechanize production,
and compare center pivot sprinkler irrigation with more traditional flood
and furrow methods.
||Sherman S. Wheeler, dean of the division of
agriculture, becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Eastern Colorado Branch later known as Eastern
Colorado Research Center near Akron is established.
||The Southeastern Colorado Branch, later known
as the Southeastern Colorado Research Center, is established by act of
the state legislature to conduct research on soils subject to wind erosion
and associated management problems. This work begins on a 2,360-acre leased
site of abandoned crop land at Springfield, Colorado. In 1966, an additional
state-supported site (Plainsman Research Center) was established at Walsh,
mainly to investigate the management of crops, soils, and water under pump
irrigation in a hitherto drylands region.
||Congress passes the amended Hatch Act which
consolidates the law of 1887 and all subsequent supplementary legislation.
||Agronomy and Animal Sciences begin move to Rigden
||Congress passes the McIntire-Stennis Forestry
Research Act to encourage investigations involving forest regeneration
||Congress orders that a part of Hatch appropriations
be earmarked for studying ways to reduce the threat of pesticides to the
environment (IR-4 Program: National Program of Clearances of Pesticides
for Minor and Specialty Uses).
||Rue Jensen of the department of Bacteriology
and Pathology becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Donald F. Hervey of the department of Range
Science becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||John Patrick Jordan, associate dean of the College
of Natural Sciences and professor of Biochemistry, becomes director of
the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Congress passes the Rural Development Act "to
consolidate federal loan, industrial assistance, health facilities, and
waste management programs aimed at upgrading services in rural areas."
Essentially, stations are expected to find ways "of making rural areas
more attractive to residents and businesses".
||Congress passes the National Agricultural Research,
Extension, Teaching Policy Act (NARETPA), which continues and increases
federal support for existing research, extension, and teaching work at
Morrill-Act institutions along with special research emphasis involving
alternate energy sources, and poultry and livestock investigations. This
measure also seeks to identify a common core of research initiatives and
improve coordination among various agencies involved in creating and disseminating
||President Jimmy Carter's administration presents
a "new agenda" for agriculture, emphasizing centralized administration
of all federal programs, the small family farm, organic farming, nutrition
studies, natural resource conservation, international agricultural projects,
and farm labor. The traditional cornerstone of agricultural research, the
augmentation of production efficiency, is accorded relatively less attention.
||Congress amends NARETPA of 1977 renewing programs of the original law
for four years, but placing productivity maintenance and enhancement at
the top of the list of "major needs and challenges" for the future. Many
"new agenda" programs receive continued support, however.
||Robert D. Heil of the Agronomy department becomes
director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||Congress amends NARETPA of 1977 providing a
four-year renewal of the original law and emphasizing productivity (in
response to the Food Security Act of 1985) and biotechnology studies.
||In response to encroaching urbanization of Fort
Collins, a new 493-acre North Agricultural Campus (approximately eight
miles northeast of CSU) is proposed for legislative funding.
||Helen F. McHugh is appointed Interim Director of the Agricultural
||Charles W. Laughlin becomes director of the Agricultural
||The Agricultural Research, Development, and Education Center
(ARDEC)--formerly North Agricultural Campus--opens as a multidisciplinary agricultural
center for instruction, research and outreach.
||Lee E. Sommers, head of the Soil and Crop Sciences Department,
becomes director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.
||The Southeastern Colorado Research Center at Springfield is closed.
||Fruita, Orchard Mesa, and Rogers Mesa combined to form Western
Colorado Research Center.
||Funding and construction of new ARDEC Animal Science teaching
and research center opens.
||Mountain Meadow Research Center at Gunnison is closed.