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Farm Fueled Friday 7/6

Farm Fueled Friday comes again with a great week of Independence!  July 4th our great nation celebrated her 236th birthday.  The United States from the very start was a nation of farmers.  As we have grown our farming population has reduced in size by a substantial amount.  Technology has allowed this, as our farmers have become more efficient and can provide nourishment for many more people than when our country was founded.  Here are a few facts about our farmers today and who they are:

Another monumental day in the life of our nation took place this past week.  The celebration of the 150th year anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing the Morrill Act occurred on July 2nd.  The Morrill Act was a bill submitted by Justin Morrill, a US Representative from Vermont, to establish Land-Grant schools.  Each state received 30,000 acres, per a congress official, of federal lands.  This land was to be used, or the funds from its sale, to establish an institution for teaching agriculture and mechanic arts.

Justin Morrill

In 1906, Gainesville lobbied for the new Land-Grant institution funds; they offered lands for its establishment and free water usage.  An anxious crowd awaited the news, and a loud celebration began when Gainesville was selected as the site for the Florida’s Land-Grant institution.  University of Florida still to this day remembers its Land-Grant heritage and focuses on leading the way in Agriculture, Engineering, and the many other academic studies added since its beginning.  The university strives to provide new research based information that is then disseminated by your local extension office.  The other states within close proximity to Santa Rosa County the have a Land-Grant school are; University of Georgia, Auburn University (Alabama), Mississippi State University, and Louisiana State University.  Also Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) is a Land-Grant institution but apart of the 2nd Morrill Act of 1890.

University of Florida – 1915

The Land-Grant system is strictly an American concept and is envied all over the world today.  There was not a better week for the farmer and any other citizens of Santa Rosa County.  Not only can we celebrate our great nations beginnings but also the beginnings of the Land-Grant system.  The Morrill Act has allowed generations of farmers to be better equipped and supported to bring agriculture where it is today!

Permanent link to this article: http://santarosa.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2012/07/06/farm-fueled-friday-76/