Most of the year, I call my home Madison, Wis. In the heart of the University of Wisconsin campus, cresting Bascom Hill, sits a statue honoring a man most Americans would agree was a visionary leader – Abraham Lincoln.
He is not emblazoned at the University of Wisconsin for his role in holding together a divided country through what was arguably one of its most tumultuous eras, though he could be. The reason he’s honored there is for his role in shaping not only our university, but modern agriculture.
During the dark days of the Civil War, 150 years ago this month, Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, legislation that created the land-grant university system, into law. The act granted 30,000 acres of land to each state for each member of Congress that state had. The money raised from the sale of the land, a combined $7.5 million nationwide, was to [ … ]