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Department's History

Even though the current department structure is only a year old, teaching, research and service in the plant sciences has been part of South Dakota State University since it’s founding. The following is a brief outline of our history and how the Department of Plant Science came to have its current structure:

1886 – First course in “Practical Agriculture” marks the beginning of agronomy instruction.
1887 – Agriculture Experiment Station founded, initiation of crop research.
              Aldrich joins faculty starts entomology instruction
1895 – N. E. Hansen joins faculty – starts horticultural instruction.
1897 – First departments formed, these include geology-agronomy and horticulture-forestry.
1903 – Department of Agronomy formed.
1920 – Department of Entomology-Zoology formed.
1940 – Buchholtz joins faculty and starts plant pathology.
1947 – Department of Plant Pathology formed.
1955 – Landscape design option added to horticulture-forestry.
1963 – Parks management option added to horticulture-forestry.
1967 – Department of Horticulture Forestry Landscape and Parks (HFLP) formed.
1969 – Agronomy and plant pathology merge to form Department of Plant Science.
1979 – Entomology joins Department of Plant Science.
2011 – HFLP joins Department of Plant Science.
2016 – Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science formed.