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From the Archives: President Abraham Lincoln Creates the Department of Agriculture

Summary: 
On May 15, 1862--150 years ago--President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to create the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

True to his roots as a frontier farm boy, on May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to create the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over the next two months - in the midst of the Civil War - he signed additional legislation that expanded and transformed American farming, including the Homestead Act, and the establishment of the Land Grant agricultural university system.

To mark its 150th anniversary, the USDA released a short film featuring interviews with nine of the most recent Secretaries of Agriculture about the Department's role in our history and American life. Check it out: