Chronological history by decade from
History of Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service
Blue=USDA research accomplishment
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The first USDA administration building in Washington, D.C., was completed in 1867.
Farms with hog cholera were quarantined.
1860 and before
Proved that Phytophthora infestans caused Irish potato famine.
Morrill Land-Grant College Act authorized public land grants for colleges to teach agriculture and mechanic arts. (more)
First man-made plastic invented.
First USDA research bulletin issued, on sugar content of several varieties of grapes and their suitability for wine.
Homestead Act passed.
Library of the USDA established.
Dry farming, as type of commercial agriculture, began in Utah.
Deficiency Act provided first statutory provision for employment of women.
First patent issued for barbed-wire fencing.
Refrigerator railroad car patented.
USDA began research on animal diseases. (more)
Gypsy moth accidentally brought into the U.S. from France; established in Medford, MA. (more)
Suez Canal opened.
First practical spring-toothed harrow patented; eliminated breaking teeth on roots and stones.
Dmitry Mendeleyev published the organizational groundwork for the periodic table of elements.
First analysis of food published in the U.S., for corn. (more)
Send comments or questions about this historical timeline to Sean Adams.