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1910s: Colorado's land-grant institution thrives

February 3, 2010

On Feb. 11, 1870, Colorado Territorial Gov. Edward McCook signed the Colorado Morrill Act establishing the State Agricultural College in Fort Collins. On Feb. 11, Colorado State will honor the creation of the institution with a Founders Day celebration with events at the State Capitol and on campus in Fort Collins.

Students enrolled in an entomology class do fieldwork in 1916.

President Charles Lory’s outreach

Beginning in 1910, Colorado Agricultural College was known as the institution catering to the needs of the state under the guidance of newly appointed President Charles Lory. Hoping to make CAC a household name Lory traveled by train throughout the state to make public appearances promoting the college to high-school students and stockmen alike.

Smith–Lever Act

In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established state Extension Services in conjunction with land-grant institutions and ultimately provided agricultural and home-economics information to rural communities throughout the state. These Extension programs continue to be a large part of the universities community outreach today.

Spotlight on faculty

A plethora of new and highly qualified faculty helped further the institution into the spotlight during this decade. S. Arthur Johnson, professor of entomology, was appointed dean of faculty in 1911 and gained esteem throughout the CAC community for his curricula of focusing on the ethical behavior and service of students in addition to mastering a specific academic subject.

A butter-making class featured in the 1916-1917 college catalog.

During the 1910s, various CAC faulty began to focus on studying the unique effects high-altitude living has on both crops and food preparation. In 1913, the state horticulturist, Emil Sandsten, spent time researching high-altitude crops through an apprenticeship at CAC and established the nation’s first seed-potato certified program.

Inga Allison, a domestic-economy faculty member, began conducting experiments in an Estes Park shanty on a variety of ingredients affected by high-altitudes before the CAC’s on-campus cooking lab was completed in the 1920s.

Colorado’s land-grant institution thrives

With President Lory’s guidance during this decade the reputation of Colorado Agricultural College as the state’s land-grant institution thrived.

Written by Sarah Gianti, CSU Department of Public Relations Intern, Journalism and Technical Communications ‘10.

Contact: Jennifer Dimas
Phone: (970) 491-1543