Department Heads

Dr. D. Mayne, principal

1910-1912

Dr. Edgar Persons, professor

1984-1996

Dr. A.V. Storm, professor

1912-1934

Dr. Roland Peterson, professor

1997-2005

Dr. A. M. Field, professor

1934-1948

Darrell Hartle, senior fellow

2005-2007

Dr. Milo Peterson, professor

1948-1970

Dr. Brian Buhr, professor

2008-2013

Dr. R. Paul Marvin, professor

1970-1984

Dr. Frances Homans, professor

2013-present

Division Highlights and Information

Legislative Influences

Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota has been influenced by legislation over the years. The following list highlights some of these events and their impact.

1862
Morrill Act established land-grant colleges. "The sons and daughters of farmers and mechanics could have access to a 4-year college education."

1875-76
College of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota began
Free 10-week lecture courses for farmers (30 participants required)

1881-82
University of Minnesota continued 4-week lecture course (191 attended)

1882-83
University of Minnesota continued 4-week lecture course (281 attended)

1883-84
University of Minnesota continued 4-week lecture course (1,118 attended)

The lecture course consisted of the following:
Week #1: Horticulture
Week #2: Animal Husbandry
Week #3: Dairy and Sheep Husbandry
Week #4: Hygiene, Forestry, Cereals, Soils, Farm Mgmt.

1888
University of Minnesota established the School of Agriculture, which was a 6-month resident high school on the farm campus in St. Paul. The legislature appropriated $7,500 for the school.

Mid-to-Late 1880s
Manual Training Movement influenced the inclusion of agricultural education in the high school curriculum.

Putnam Act (1909)
Certain requirements came about with the passage of the Putnam Act. Schools were to provide one shop, one science room, one classroom, and one lab for agricultural education purposes. Teachers were required to be college graduates. Three teachers were to be hired, one for each subject to be taught: agriculture, domestic economy, and manual training.

Benson-Lee Act (1911)
The Benson-Lee Act continued to provide funds for the establishment of agriculture in Minnesota high schools.

Smith-Hughes Act (1917)
The Smith-Hughes Act was a federal act that created vocational agriculture as a part of the public school system grades 9-12. The act provided funds for teacher salaries, equipment, and travel plus teacher preparation.

Vocational Education Act of 1963
This act changed vocational agriculture from only farmer preparation to preparation for agribusiness. Female students became a part of the program.

1988
A National Research Council study determined significant changes needed to occur in vocational agriculture. First changed name of vocational agriculture to agricultural education. Program focus turned to education "about" agriculture and education "in" agriculture.

1997
The Minnesota Legislature reversed a trend that had been developing in Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota since the late 1980s. The loss of faculty members and the loss of enthusiasm for Agricultural Education had resulted in a teacher education faculty anchored by one full-time, tenure-track professor and three with part-time appointments totaling .8 FTEs. With one full-time, non-tenure-track staff member, things looked fairly bleak for the future of Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota. After having a proposal to move the Agricultural Education division to the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences rejected, the Minnesota Vocational Agriculture Instructors Association developed a legislative proposal to revitalize Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota and across the state.

The resulting legislation was a joint, bipartisan effort carried by the late Senator Dallas Sams (DFL) and Representative Steve Wenzel (DFL). The provisions provided $200,000 annually for agricultural teacher education and $300,000 annually for the development of the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC). This action resulted in the agricultural education program at the University of Minnesota being able to employ a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor, two Ph.D.-level graduate students, and a full-time recruiter.

For the first time, the division also became a part of both the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (CFANS). A joint agreement forming this new organizational arrangement was signed in the spring of 1998. Consequently, Agricultural Education faculty had their tenure home in either CEHD or COAFES.

2009
In July of 2009, the Agricultural Eduction division became an official part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). The division is a part of the Division of Applied Economics and Agricultural Education. CFANS is now the tenure home of all Agricultural Education faculty.

2015
Agricultural Education was granted approval to have two majors to better serve our students: Agricultural Education (teacher licensure), and Agricultural Communication and Marketing. 

Location

Over the years, the Agricultural Education division at the University of Minnesota has been located in different buildings on the St. Paul campus. From 1910 to 1974, its home was the "Old Hort" building, which is now the southern-most part of McNeal Hall. In the late 1960s, North Hall became a temporary location for part of the faculty. From 1974 to 1982, the Agricultural Education division was housed in the Classroom Office Building. In 1982, the division moved to the Vocational and Technical Education building.

In August of 2009, the division moved back to the Classroom Office Building. The name of the building was changed to Ruttan Hall in October 2010.

Agricultural Education Club

The Agricultural Education Club at the University of Minnesota was formed in 1913. This organization has social and educational aims and has been in continuous operation since its beginning.

Alpha Tau Alpha Fraternity

The Alpha Alpha Chapter of ATA was formed in 1963. It continues to serve as an honorary fraternity for students majoring in agricultural education. It emphasizes scholarship, leadership, and service to the major and the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences.