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Empowerment Through Education

Less than 40 percent of 1910-era homesteaders in north-central Montana had previous agricultural experience. Who would help empower these new farmers and ranchers to learn and understand the land and lifestyle in order to succeed?

A series of momentous laws toward the end of the 19th century and into the 20th propelled agricultural education forward in America. The Morrill Land Grant College Act (1862), Hatch Act (1887) and Smith-Lever Act (1914) lead to bringing land grant university-level research, education and cooperation to the people on the land.

In its earliest days, Montana Farm Bureau was established to provide a farmer-driven, grassroots network to assist extension agents in sharing information and implementing ideas on the ground. Since 1919, county Farm Bureau leaders are still committed to learning and sharing the latest farming and ranching techniques in this grassroots, peer-to-peer network.

This video adaptation of the book LEGACIES, as featured on RFD-TV, shares stories of innovative leaders and the core values that shaped early Montana agricultural history.

LEGACIES is available at



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