New students in the Department of Horticultural Science enter into a rich history of horticulture. Horticulture and Minnesota have been intertwined since the creation of the Minnesota territory in 1849. At the time, settlers began talking of the importance of having an agricultural college and early founders established one in Glencoe, MN. Meanwhile, Congress passed the Land Grant (Morrill) Act in 1858, which donated public land for the support of state colleges designed to teach topics such as agriculture and mechanic arts. The University of Minnesota was one of the first public universities to receive the land grant in 1868. By 1888 the Department of Horticulture was established with Samuel B. Green as the first head of the department.
The first two heads of the department — Samuel B. Green (3rd from left)
and Leroy Cady (farthest right) — in front of the Horticulture Building, 1910.
Fast-forward more than 150 years: research programs and student enrollment has grown, interest in horticulture has continued to develop, and the department has impacted countless lives throughout the state through its research, education and outreach. Check below for just a few of the major events in the department's history.
|1888||Department of Horticulture is established with Samuel B. Green as the first head of the department.|
|1889||Five horticulture classes are offered in the College: Fruit Growing, Vegetable Growing, Greenhouse Practices, Nursery Practices, and Plant Breeding.|
|1907||The first graduate degree was awarded in the department.|
|1912||General Horticulture, Commercial Fruit Growing, Floriculture, Landscape Gardening, Systemic Pomology, Greenhouse Construction and Orchard Spraying had all been added to the college curriculum by this year.|
|1920||First apple, "Minnehaha," is introduced.|
|1920||Latham raspberry is introduced.|
|1923||Haralson apple is introduced.|
|1925||Twenty courses are now listed in the college curriculum, including Small Fruit Culture and Potato Production.|
|1965||Anoka potato is introduced.|
|1966||Sixty-two organized courses are taught in the department.|
|1976||Between 1969-1976, the numbers of horticulture students jumped from 32 to 244.|
|1991||Honeycrisp apple is introduced.|
|1996||Frontenac grape is introduced.|
|1998||Zestar! apple is introduced.|
|2002||La Crescent grape is introduced.|
|2003||Frontenac Gris grape is introduced.|
|2006||Marquette grape is introduced.|
|2009||Superior blueberry is introduced.|
|2013||100th anniversary of our weekly seminar series and 125th anniversary of the department.|
|2017||Start of HortSci Grows, which includes the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Kermit Olson Memorial Lecture|