Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Father of USDA
Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, son of Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut who was a Founding Father, was commissioner of patents 1836-45, and is sometimes called the father of USDA. His life was diverse, being involved with western lands, Indian claims, Samuel Colt, and Samuel Morse and Aetna Insurance. His 1842 report is available online, which is mostly agricultural (crop reports and statistics). One big concern was fencing and housing in the treeless prairies. You can see in the report the seeds of NASS, of Extension, of ARS, of FAS, NRCS, and I don't know what else.