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Abraham Lincoln’s Agricultural Legacy

We still hear about historical significance of Abraham Lincoln two centuries later. From 1861 until his assassination in 1865, he served as President of the United States. He was a man who was ahead of his time, humble and ambitious.

Lincoln’s effect on agriculture and farming is still felt today, in addition to his strong values, ageless speech, and steadfast leadership. It’s no exaggeration to say that as a farmer’s kid who grew up on a 30-acre farm in Central Kentucky, he has a strong foundation in pioneer farming and rural living. Abraham Lincoln was hired to conduct basic agricultural work at some point throughout his life.

What Did Abraham Lincoln Do for Agriculture and Farming?

It all began in 1859, when Abraham Lincoln gave a speech to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society at their annual fair, which was the only occasion he ever spoke about agriculture in depth. He began by praising the power of agricultural fairs to bring people together. The fair’s main purpose, however, was to aid in the improvement of agriculture.

Later on…

Lincoln appointed Isaac Newton as the first Commissioner of Agriculture for the United States Department of Agriculture in 1862. The foundations of contemporary industry were built in this part. Because of his creative agricultural and farm management skills, Newton was selected to this position. As a result, during this time period, the initial steps toward today’s creative agricultural practices were taken.

In 1862, Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law. The legislation provided every American or future citizen over the age of 21 who was the head of a family 160 acres of public land. The title to the property was issued after the settler had resided on the land for five years and made improvements. By residing on the claim for six months, improving the property, and paying $1.25 per acre, the settler might gain title.

On July 2, 1862, the Morrill Property Grant College Act became law, offering public land to the states for agricultural and mechanical arts institutions. Every state complied with the act’s criteria and established one or more of these groups.

Abraham Lincoln’s Quote on Farming and Agriculture

“Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit fence, 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.”
– Abraham Lincoln

The Bottom Line is…

Abraham Lincoln was a major proponent of studying farming and agricultural life since he grew up on a farm. Abraham Lincoln’s discoveries and contributions to farming and agriculture were revolutionary, despite the fact that the challenge throughout his administration was to defend the union.

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