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200 Year History of the House Committee on Agriculture

Posted by the Agricultural Law Information Partnership: Kirstin Nelson, Maddie Allen, Liz Holdzkom, and Jamie Flood in Research and Science
Apr 27, 2021
The U.S. Capitol building

For 200 years, the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture has stood for both growers and consumers in America. To commemorate the Committee's anniversary, USDA’s National Agricultural Library created a digital timeline to highlight key events, members, and legislation in the Committee's history.

The timeline includes documents and photographs dating from the Committee's formation in 1820 and explores key milestones, including creating USDA, establishing the Land-grant University System, and forming the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

Learn how the Committee supported research and innovations to prevent illnesses and ensure a safe food supply by eliminating harmful pests and animal diseases.

Read how the Committee addressed the devastating Dust Bowl in 1935, by providing farmers with relief and protecting the country's natural resources through the creation of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act. This act led to the establishment of new USDA agencies to address conversation issues. Learn the remarkable story of how the Committee funded extensive USDA laboratory research that produced a technique for pushing penicillin production to an industrial level. This work allowed penicillin to be used widely during World War II, preventing countless amputations and deaths from infected wounds.

From providing farmers with federal price supports and crop insurance to promoting rural broadband connectivity, the Committee continues to shape the future of U.S. food and agriculture. Explore the Committee's historical contributions in the 200th Anniversary U.S. House Committee on Agriculture timeline.

Category/Topic: Research and Science