Roots and Shoots: The College Grows

In the first few decades of the 20th century, Texas A&M expanded both upward and outward. As enrollment increased and funding became available, the directors initiated a building program that would continue throughout the 1920s and 1930s. They also formed new departments and expanded the college system by adding branches in other parts of the state.

  • In 1916, the Stock Judging Pavilion and a dairy barn were built, and the Department of Agricultural Education was established.
  • In 1917, John Tarleton Agricultural College in Stephenville and North Texas Agricultural College in Arlington became junior branches of the A&M College of Texas.
  • In 1920, the Department of Rural Social Science (soon renamed Rural Sociology) was added to the School of Agriculture, and a four-year curriculum was offered in Agricultural Administration.

Throughout the boom years of the 1920s, the A&M College and the School of Agriculture continued to grow.

  • In 1922, the new Agriculture Building opened, and the new Department of Agricultural Economics held its first classes.
  • In 1923, the college added a Department of Genetics, bringing a whole new level of scientific research to the School of Agriculture. It also responded to interest in dairy husbandry by building a campus creamery.
  • In 1924, the Poultry Husbandry Building opened, and the Graduate School was formed.
  • In 1927, the Department of Agricultural Economics was divided into four specialized departments: accounting and statistics, agricultural economics, farm and ranch management, and marketing and finance. These new divisions allowed students to specialize in one area of economics and focus their job search after graduation.
  • In 1928, Texas A&M researcher Jay Lush reported on his work in crossbreeding cattle. It was so impressive that he was named to the National Academy of Sciences.

In the early 1900s, A&M students and teams were known as “the Farmers.” The name gradually evolved to “the Aggies,” but it wasn’t until 1949 that the yearbook changed its name to Aggieland, making the name official. Of course, both names “Farmers” and “Aggies” reflect the college’s deep roots in agriculture.

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