In 2012, USDA commemorated and celebrated its 150th anniversary. Founded in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture.
Two and one-half years later, in what would be his final annual message to the Congress; Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." At that time, about half of all Americans lived on farms, compared with about 2 percent today. But through our work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and a host of issues, USDA still fulfills Lincoln's vision - touching the lives of every American, every day.
- Message from Secretary Vilsack about USDA's 150th (PDF, 26.5 KB)
- USDA's 150th Anniversary Celebration (Video)
- June 28, 2012: Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Visits OSU, Highlights Cancer-Fighting Research and 150 Years of Land Grant University Partnerships
- May 16, 2012: Secretary Vilsack Highlights Importance of Agriculture Education and Research to America's Prosperity
- May 15, 2012: Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Celebrates USDA's 150th Year of Service, Highlights Ways the 'Every Day, Every Way' Department Works for American People
- May 14, 2012: Presidential Proclamation -- 150th Anniversary of the United States Department of Agriculture
- May 10, 2012: Senate Resolution Commemorating the Founding of the Department of Agriculture (PDF, 124KB)
- February 23, 2012: USDA Kicks Off 150th Anniversary at the 2012 Ag Outlook Forum
- February 10, 2012: The People's Garden Bears More Fruit through USDA and Old State Capitol Partnership
- January 27, 2012: USDA Names Winners of 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program
- January 17, 2012: USDA Marks 150th Anniversary with Historic Plenary Panel at 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum
Information and Resources
- Morrill Act 150th Anniversary - Message from the President (PDF, 279 KB)
- Secretaries of Agriculture -- 30 Leaders; 150 Years - Learn about the history of USDA from the viewpoints of its nine most recent Secretaries.
- 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival - The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival commemorated the 150th anniversary of the founding of land-grant universities and the USDA.
- Photos from USDA's 150th Anniversary Collection
- USDA Blog - Read blog posts about USDA's 150th Anniversary Celebration.