Factoid: Abraham Lincoln and Agriculture

Abraham Lincoln quote:

“Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure. And not grass alone; but soils, seeds, and seasons – hedges, ditches, and fences, draining, droughts, and irrigation – plowing, hoeing, and harrowing – reaping, mowing, and threshing – saving crops, pests of crops, diseases of crops, and what will prevent or cure them – implements, utensils, and machines, their relative merits and how to improve them – hogs, horses, and cattle – sheep, goats, and poultry – trees, shrubs, fruits, plants, and flowers – the thousand things of which these are specimens – each a world of study within itself.”

He was an advocate for agriculture and signed multiple laws that shaped U.S. Agricultural Policy: 

  • Established the USDA on May 15, 1862.
  • Signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. This transferred nearly 232 million acres of land from the public to private ownership and created over 1 million farms. 
  • He signed The Morrill Land Grant College Act on July 2, 1862. This legislation allowed for a donation of public lands to states for colleges of Agriculture and “mechanical arts”.

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