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Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station Records in the University Archives

This article expired 13-Mar-2013 -- it may contain outdated or superceded information
13-Mar-2013 Newsletter article

The Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station celebrates its 125th anniversary in March of this year. It was founded at Iowa State as a result of the Hatch Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1887. The legislation gave federal funds to state land-grant colleges in order to create a series of agricultural experiment stations, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth. In March of 1888, the Iowa General Assembly approved the terms of the Hatch Act and the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station was established.

Since its inception, the Experiment Station has existed under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Although it serves as the research arm of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Experiment Station also supports programs in almost every other college at Iowa State and at a number of off-campus research facilities in the surrounding area. During the earliest years of its existence, Experiment Station research focused on soil, crops, horticulture, and dairying. Today, research conducted by Experiment Station staff has become over-arching in scope and multidisciplinary in practice reflecting the complexity of agricultural problems facing scientists and farmers today.

The Special Collections Department holds a variety of collections documenting the Experiment Station's history including annual reports, newsletters, brochures, publications, administrative records, research project records, and papers of Experiment Station professors and staff. Starting in 1888, the Experiment Station published quarterly Bulletins (call number S542 Io9b) that described activities and research results. Many of these results are also included in annual reports (RS 9/2/0/1) prepared by the director.

A listing, and links to the finding aids, of Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station collections can be found online:

For more information on select records about the experiment station in the University Archives, please visit the following blog post: 

If you have questions regarding this collection, please contact the Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library at 515-294-4216, or visit our website at

Crops on the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station
Crops on the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station from the latter part of the 19th or early 20th century. The sign in the foreground reads "Crossed seedlings, hand pollinated apple and pear, seedlings of hardy varieties".

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