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Willet M. Hays papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RS 21/7/26

Scope and Content

The collection (1887-1929) contains publications by Hays during his time at the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1888-1913). The Minnesota Experiment Station bulletins and other articles deal with the main areas of interest to Hays during his career: agricultural education, hybridizing of grains and forage crops, and farm management. There are also two folders of newspaper clippings which address similar issues along with biographical information. A small collection of letters represents a few peoples' reactions (such as Tama Jim, Edwin Jaggard, and David Lubin) to his governmental appointment.

Dates

  • 1887-1929

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

Willet Martin Hays was born on an Iowa farm in 1859. He attended Oskaloosa College and Drake University before earning a bachelor of agriculture (1885) and master of agriculture (1896) from Iowa State College (University). After short periods of work at Iowa State College and The Prairie Farmer, he accepted a position at the University of Minnesota from 1888-1892. After a brief interlude at the North Dakota College in 1892-1893, he returned to the University of Minnesota until 1904.

Hays was a pioneer in the teaching and field study of subjects in agricultural economics with particular reference to farm management. He introduced and tested many hybrid varieties of field crops. Hays was, perhaps, best known for his promotion of agricultural education on a high school level, and established a unique system of agricultural high schools, affiliated with the University of Minnesota, throughout the state. In 1905 he was appointed assistant secretary of agriculture under James "Tama Jim" Wilson, a position he held until 1913. In this position Hays tried to install the Minnesota agricultural education system on a national level though the Dolliver-Davis and Page-Wilson bills. His ideas were partially implemented in 1914 with the Smith-Lever Act. On leaving the department of agriculture in 1913, Hays acted as advisor to the Minister of Agriculture in Argentina for two years before retiring at age 56.

Extent

0.42 Linear Feet (1 document box)

Abstract

Agricultural scientist and public official. Willet M. Hays was born on a farm in Hardin County, Iowa, attended Oscaloosa College and Drake University, and received a bachelor of agriculture degree (1885) and a master of agriculture degree (1896), both from Iowa State College (University). In addition to brief positions at Iowa State, North Dakota College, and the Prairie Farmer, he was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota. Hays was a pioneer in the teaching and field study of agricultural economics, particularly in the area of farm management. He was also actively involved in agricultural education and established a unique system of agricultural high schools affiliated with the University of Minnesota. As Assistant Secretary of Agriculture (1905-1913) under Secretary James Wilson, Hays tried to establish the Minnesota agricultural education system on the national level. The bulk of the collection consists of publications by Hays from his time at the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1888-1913. Experiment Station bulletins, articles, and newspaper clippings deal with agricultural education, hybridizing of grains and forage crops, and farm management.

Arrangement

The collection is organized Alphabetically with biographical information listed first.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
RS 21/7/26. Willet M. Hays papers, 1887-1929
Date
January 15, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672