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Historical Analysis of Adding Agriculture into Colleges

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Historical Analysis of Adding Agriculture into Colleges

The number of ways that a person can communicate an idea today is endless. With the advanced technology and numerous sources of transportation, it isn’t difficult to be anywhere talking to anyone in days at most. What these two articles, The Burlington Railroad and Agricultural Policy in the 1920’s by C. Clyde Jones and President Draper Gets a College of Agriculture in Spite of Himself by Jackson E. Towne, showed me was that communicating anything at all was a challenge and while challenging, a major problem at hand was the issue of agriculture education. Towne’s article focuses on the way in which the College of Agriculture came to be despite the many doubters. While Towne’s article gave a more general description of how the loss of market was dealt with through the railroad industry. Both articles explained how despite the many challenges farming and agriculture reined successful after creative hard work.

Politics are everywhere, the people one knows, connections that one has, and respect that from the people surrounding one has a huge influence on the success of that individual. Towne uses excerpts from Perry G Holden’s memoirs a man who worked hard to make it possible for the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois to succeed. The challenges were to find funding, teachers, and students for the program. “With few people from farmland areas going to high school, it was hard to find enough promising students” (Towne, 210). And while the farmers did want this college, they wanted it to be a premier focus, but also didn’t want to take the time away from their farms to teach the students. The president of the college at the time, President Draper, was one of the many doubters. “He was ashamed at the fact that the college had even requested such a large sum of money just for an agriculture program” (209). However, Holden managed to push the bill of request for specific funding solely

for the program of agriculture through to legislation and use his resource of Senator Bogardus to not only influence a pass of the bill as well as provide scholarships for students entering the agriculture college. Because of these two aids, the college grew from sixteen students to twenty- four instructors offering a hundred courses to one hundred and thirty students. In order to talk to the senator he had to take a train and then the senator had to take a train to Springfield. In order for the word to get out the word of the available scholarships was dependent on passing on the word. It is encouraging that despite the many doubters, and difficulties with transportation and communications, the program prevailed and proved itself to be productive.

The other article went into a more general explanation of the challenges that the agriculture industry faced and goes into explanation of how the railroad industry was a huge asset to the recovery of the price collapse. “During the first world war farm prices rose to previously unknown heights” (Jones, 69). However, at the end of there was a loss of market; less people looking for food, which resulted in excess food. With so much food available, the prices dropped and farmers were suddenly in extreme debt. The railroads served as a market and trade place where

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