Farm Progress Reports




Horticulture Station






The story of the ISU Horticulture Research Station starts with the Iowa State University campus. Iowa State University began as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm with the act of the Iowa Legislature in 1858. After a competition between several locations across Iowa, the Story and Boone counties delegation proposal, valued at $21,355, was accepted. Story County was on the edge of the frontier. The county only had been organized for five years, had no railroad, and was “reputed to be unusually swampy” (Ross, 1942). The campus was acquired as a prairie site of 648 acres near the Story/Boone County border on the Nevada to Boonesboro stage line. A Fourth of July 1859 celebration on the site had a toast to “The Rising Generation, the Hope of the World and a Mighty Sure Crop in the Hawkeye State!” The first building, the Farm House, was built in 1861 and the first class enrolled in 1869. The first horticulture classes also were offered in 1869. From ISU’s earliest days, horticulture was a key component of the college. Early horticultural college leaders included Bessey, Budd, and Beach.





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