Dr. Debra Reid>ISM Interviews M-Z>ISM Interviews M-Z, Segment 4


duration 11:21
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University of Illinois is a land grant institution. The federal government, under Abraham Lincoln, passed the Moral Land Grant Act of 1862 which set up institutions all over the country in an attempt to gain support in the Civil War. The state legislatures had to fund the program and provide land. Each state typically has two land grant institutions, one being African American. Originally, few people went to U of I for agriculture. By the 20th century, more people were studying agriculture. In 1914 the Smith-Leaver Act creates the Agriculture Extension Service. In 1917, the Smith-Hues Act was created to train teachers in agriculture vocational studies. U of I had competition of Illinois State University for training agriculture teachers. U of I trained for ag business, not usually farming specifically. She thinks many farmers today turn to private corporations like Monsanto for education. Refers to Bill Kronen's book about Chicago. Says that Chicago is as important as it is because of the many railroads emanating from it. The Illinois Central Railroad has always been involved with ag sciences. The McCormicks, who published the Chicago Tribune, had an experimental farm Wheaton that they would publish weekly stories about starting in the 1930s. Tells of how John Deere, a New England blacksmith, relocates to Grand Detour, IL. He begins to create machinery to suit the needs of Illinois farmers. Grand Detour, Decatur, Peoria, and Chicago all had plants where machinery was made. As the railroads grew in the 1850s, Chicago became the powerhouse. She tells how the Chicago being a port on Lake Michigan is very important. Farmers in Alberta, Canada and Russia are using machines that were shipped from Chicago. The Mississippi River provided a world wide market for Illinois farmers. Topographically and climatologically Illinois is one of the best places in the world to grow crops. McLean county has been the world leader in bushels per acre of corn. IA, IN, and MI all are very similar, but the do not have the same combination of water access, fine soil, and climate.