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CYT Students at Aug 09, 2018 09:55 AM


education made possible by the amendment to the second Morrill Act of 1890. According to this amendment, passed in 1907, "colleges may use a portion of [a twenty-five-thousand-dollar supplementary grant to land-grant institutions] for providing courses for the special preparation of instructors for teaching the elements of agriculture and the mechanic arts." The second Morrill Act had provided money to teach coursesl now the Nelson Amendment provided money to teach the teachers of those courses.

The Schools of Agriculture and Domestic Science

Although enrollment in the collegiate courses lagged and the resistance to book farming remained, the School of Agriculture was a bright spot. A. E. Davisson, principal of the school, had emphasized repeatedly that its policy had always been to send its students back to the land; and he could give figures to prove it. In the school's ten years of existence, Davisson had said in 1906, it "has had about 1,500 students and over 1,200 are devoting themselves to farming and stock raising." Starting with only 15 students in 1895, it enrolled 353 during the 1905-1906 academic year-- 16 2/3 per cent of the student body, as compared to .5 per cent when the school opened. Answering those who felt that Nebraska's agricultural enrollment was small, Davisson wrote, "It sometimes happen that comparisons are instituted between agricultural education in Nebraska and that in Iowa and Kansas. These comparisons have always been wrongly made. . . . The so-called agricultural schools of Iowa and Kansas are thought by many people to be devoting their energies solely to the work of training students in agriculture. The facts are the major portion of the instruction given at Ames and Manhattan consists of work in engineering subjects, the natural sciences and the branches of so-called polite learning. Nebraska has more students taking agricultural subjects as seriously as one take a course in engineering than can be found at the Kanas college and almost as many as there are at Ames."
While the rising enrollment gave the impression that all was well at the School of Agricultre, it was not as successful as the regents believed. Many students living in Lincoln availed themselves of the regular high school course although they had no interest in agricultural or practical courses. But the school did serve as a model for the state at a time when there was increasing discussion of the need to create a system of vocational and technical high schools; and after the enactment in 1917 of the Smith-Hughes law which provided funds for high school vocational agricultural courses, Nebraska public school leaders profited greatly from the example set by the School of Agriculture.
The School of Domestic Sciene, which had opened in September, 1898, soon enrolled secondary, collegiate, and extension students to study what Rosa Bouton, the director, described as "work based on scientific principles." In a 1903 article in Agriculture, Miss Bouton explained the importance of her field to the farm audience:

Of all the work undertaken on the farm that of rearing boys and girls is
the most important. If the farmer's son needs special scientific training in
the school of agriculture, in order that he may learn how best to feed
cattle, to grow grain, in short to farm the wisest way, how much more
does the farmer's daughter stand in need of scientific training in the
school of domestic science, in order that she may learn how to give people
food best suited to their needs, to make the most of her resources, in
short, become the best possible home keeper.

If the regents had expected that the enrollemt in the School of Domestic Science would come largely from rural areas, they were disabused of the