Growing a Nation

Historical Timeline — 1900

Economic Cycles

1907-08
Panic of 1907

Farm Economy

1889-1919
Farm prosperity

Farmers & the Land

1900
Total population: 75,994,266; farm population: 29,414,000 (est.); farmers 38% of labor force; Number of farms: 5,740,000; average acres: 147

1900-20
Continued agricultural settlement on the Great Plains

1902
Reclamation Act

1905-07
Policy of reserving timberlands inaugurated on a large scale

1905
Forest Service created

Farm Machinery & Technology

1900-09
Average annual consumption of commercial fertilizer 3,738,300 tons

1900-10
George Washington Carver of Tuskegee Institute finds new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, helping to diversify southern agriculture

1905
The first business devoted exclusively to making tractors is established

Crops & Livestock

1900-10
Turkey red wheat emerges as commercial crop

1900-20
Extensive experimental work to breed disease-resistant varieties of plants, to improve plant yield and quality, and to increase the productivity of farm animal strains

1903
Hog cholera serum developed

1904
First serious stem-rust epidemic affecting wheat

Transportation

1909
The Wrights demonstrate the airplane

Agricultural Trade & Development

1900-09
Agricultural exports: $917 million/year or 58% of total exports

1905
International Institute of Agriculture established

 

Life on the Farm

1900-20
Urban influences on rural life intensify

1908
Model T Ford paves way for mass production of automobiles; President Roosevelt's Country Life Commission focuses attention on the problems of farm wives and difficulty of keeping children on the farm

1908-17
Country-life movement

Farm Organizations & Movements

1902
Farmers' Union started; American Society of Equity formed

1905
California Fruit Growers Exchange formed

1906
Appointment of first county agricultural agent

1909-17
Boys' and girls' club work underway

Agricultural Education & Extension

1900
First corn club for boys, forerunner of 4-H clubs

1903
Seaman Knapp begins boll-weevil demonstration project, an inspiration for extension education

1906
An agricultural wagon, or moveable farmers' school, is started by Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute to teach Southern African-American farmers better methods of farming

Government Programs & Policy

1900-17
Federal Government's role in agriculture grows with passage of farm legislation

1906
Food and Drug Act; Meat Inspection Act

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