The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and other land-grant universities across the nation celebrate the Morrill Act this year, the federal act that created land-grant universities. The Morrill Act and land-grant universities make education more affordable to all people, educating them in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts and other professions. It was passed in 1862.
UNL will hold a week of activities Sept. 23-29 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the act.
The Morrill Act opened higher education for Americans who previously could not afford to go to college, said Ronnie Green, the Harlan vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at NU.
"Nebraska should be proud of the advancements made in food, fuel, water and landscapes for the people of our great state and those around the world," Green said.
The celebration includes:
• Sept. 23 from noon-5 p.m., the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead will celebrate 50 years of research and education through exhibits, presentations, bus tours, food, fun and learning.
• Sept. 24 from 3-6 p.m. at the Nebraska East Union, an entrepreneurship fair will feature alumni and current students. Students also are invited to participate in a quick-pitch competition for a chance to win an iPad.
• Sept. 25 from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Nebraska East Union, a Life Sciences Symposium with featured speaker Sonny Ramaswamy, news director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. And, from 2:30-4:30 at UNL's Maxwell Arboretum, a tree planting will be incorporated with an America Forests Grant and ReTree Week. And, from 5-8 at UNL's Hardin Hall, wildlife of all kinds will be available to view up close and personal.
• Sept. 26 will showcase study abroad tours, international sabbaticals and Fulbright scholars. Food from around the world will be served during this event from 3-6 p.m. in Hardin Hall on UNL's East Campus.
• Rural Futures Day will be Sept. 27, offering updates from May's Rural Futures Conference. This event will be from 10:30 a.m.-noon at Pinnacle Bank, 210 E. 23rd Street in Columbus. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is invited.
Also on Sept. 27, "Backyard Farmer" will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a live broadcast outside Hardin Hall on UNL's East Campus from 6-9 p.m.
• Sept. 28, starting at 7:30 p.m., the week's celebration will culminate with a scheduled forum of former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture, led by Nebraska's Clayton Yeutter and Mike Johanns at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 12th and R streets in Lincoln. The forum will be the first Heuermann Lecture (http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu/) for 2012-13.
Tickets, while free, are needed for this lecture and can be reserved starting Aug. 28 by contacting the Lied Center ticket office between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 402-472-4747; 1-800-432-3231. Ticket holders are asked to be in the lobby by 7:15 p.m. Sept. 28; unclaimed tickets will be released at that time.
To end the festivities, an Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources tailgate party will be held before the Nebraska-Wisconsin game. The tailgate will be at the Nebraska East Union from 3-7 p.m. UNL alumni, current students and IANR stakeholders can enjoy food, festivities and a shuttle ride to the football game.
For more information or for questions, contact Jill Brown, IANR director of external relations at firstname.lastname@example.org; 402-472-2871
For a detailed schedule of events, visit http://landgrant.unl.edu/.