History

History

Historical highlights in CFANS

1851—The University of Minnesota is established, 7 years before Minnesota becomes a state.

1868—Land purchased to establish an agricultural college and experimental farm southeast of Minneapolis.

1882—The university buys the 155-acre J. W. Bass Farm in St. Anthony Park to serve as the new site for the School of Agriculture and Experiment Station. This site was known as University Farm and is the current St. Paul Campus.

1888—The School of Agriculture was opened at University Farm in 1888. A 2-year practical course was offered, which included lectures and training in animal breeding, feeding, farm hygiene, and veterinary science.

1891—Andrew Boss begins his career with the university and experiment station. He attended the School of Agriculture for two years but never did get a college degree, although he was awarded many honorary degrees. When he died in 1947, he was eulogized as "Minnesota's grand old man of agriculture."

1907—The Fruit Breeding Farm (now called the Horticultural Research Center) is established at Excelsior. Charles Haralson, who gave his name to one of the best apples ever to come out of the experiment station, was appointed director.

1923—Agricultural engineers cooperate with the electrical industry to build the first experimental rural electrical line in the nation near Red Wing.

1936—Dairy scientist C.L. Cole obtains the first birth of a calf through artificial insemination (AI). Adoption of Al has hastened genetic progress because of more intensive use of quality sires. In Minnesota, this has allowed average annual milk production per cow to increase from 4,400 pounds in 1940 to 12,139 pounds in 1984. This represents about $900 more income per cow annually.

1937—Norman Borlaug, who would go on to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 as the father of the "green revolution," graduates from the forestry department. He later earned master's and doctoral degrees in plant pathology at the university.

1963—The Institute of Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics establishes the Office of International Agricultural Programs, which over the next three decades would lead to partnerships between U of M faculty and their peers in more than 25 countries.

1970—Borlaug wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

1980—Climatologists Mark Seeley and Donald Baker begin weekly agriculture weather advisories that help Minnesota farmers make important management decisions, saving them an estimated $4 million per year because of reduced weather damage to crops.

1990—Honeycrisp apple released by the experiment station. Described as "explosively crisp" by fruit tree breeder David Bedford, it is now Minnesota's official state fruit.

2006—CFANS is created in its present form via the merger of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the College of Natural Resources, and the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (which had previously resided in the now-defunct College of Human Ecology).