President Abraham Lincoln’s Legacies of USDA, the Morrill Act and the Homestead Act were commemorated on May 20 at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. More than 225 people attended a special panel presentation in the Education Center, moderated by Dr. Kenneth Winkle, Lincoln Scholar and Professor of History at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, who introduced the work of President Lincoln.
Panelists were, for USDA: U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, former Secretary of Agriculture; the Morrill Act: Dr. John Owens, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Nebraska Lincoln; and the Homestead Act: Mark Engler, Superintendent, Homestead National Monument of America. A dialogue with the audience took place after the presentations.
NET Radio taped the entire event for airing at a later date and an AmeriCorps Volunteer also video-taped the panelists. Agencies of USDA participated in an exhibit of the work of the department, held outside the Education Center.
The Homestead Act’s 150th Anniversary celebration was then held at the Heritage Center of the Homestead National Monument.