The diffusion of useful and practical, research-based information on agriculture and related subjects has been a primary responsibility of the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station and University of Idaho Extension since their beginnings.
The University of Idaho Board of Regents established the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station at the UI in 1892 following passage of the federal Hatch Act (1887), which provided for the creation of agricultural experiment stations at state land-grant colleges. In addition to stimulating agricultural research, the act required the publishing of bulletins or reports of progress on station research and allocated $15,000 per year for conducting investigations and experiments and printing and distributing the results.
University of Idaho Extension (then known as the agricultural extension service) came into being following passage in 1914 of the federal Smith-Lever Act, which authorized cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics between the state land-grant institutions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Extension’s role was to diffuse practical research-based information to people not attending college through instruction and practical demonstrations. Over the years, extension’s mandate grew to include gardening, natural resources, youth development, and community development.
This collection encompasses the research-based publishing of the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station and University of Idaho Extension since their inceptions. Experiment station publishing started almost immediately in 1892 with a series of bulletins that ran until 1954. A new series of University of Idaho College of Agriculture bulletins began in 1953, starting with number 200, with contributions coming either from the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station or the Idaho Agricultural Extension Service. A series of shorter College of Agriculture publications, the current information series, began in 1964 with titles from both the experiment station and extension. A series of highly technical research bulletins published by the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station, the research bulletins, began in 1922.
Starting in the mid-1990s, experiment station and extension publications were published on the Internet in PDF format as well as in print. By 2010, the vast majority of extension and experiment station publications were available only online, for free access by all.
-Written by Diane Noel, May 2011
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