The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics was established in 1922 to provide students with decision-making abilities in the allocation and use of agricultural and natural resources. The collection contains reports, proposals, memoranda relating to the curriculum of the department, program reviews, policies, and materials relating to student enrollment.
One file in Series I contains materials relating to students; access to this file is restricted for a period of seventy-five years or until the death of the individuals concerned.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
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The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics records span the years 1952 to 1990. The collection contains reports, proposals, and memoranda relating to student enrollment, curriculum issues, and the honors program.
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, originally called the Department of Agricultural Economics, was established at the University of Maryland at College Park in 1922 with three faculty members. The department's main objective was to provide its students with decision-making abilities in the allocation and use of agricultural and natural resources.
In the 1920s, agricultural economists focused their efforts on the development of improved procedures for farm organization, recordkeeping, and accounting. In keeping with this emphasis on better economic management for farms, the earliest courses in agricultural economics were taught in conjunction with the Department of Farm Management in the College of Agriculture. The Department of Agricultural Economics was authorized to confer both the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1923.
During the 1930s, the focus of agricultural economics shifted from improvements in the profitability of individual farms to a broader issue--the national or regional overproduction of selected agricultural products. This emphasis, along with marketing and price concerns, continued over the next two decades. In 1948, the department changed its name to Agricultural Economics and Marketing.
The development of computers in the 1960s enabled agricultural economists to use more sophisticated research techniques and to consider new research methods, such as simulation. The 1960s also brought a growing concern about pollution and dwindling natural resources, including farm land.
In 1970, the department changed its name to Agricultural and Resource Economics, reflecting the field's broadened responsibilities, interests, and needs, such as global environmental concerns. The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics continues to be a vital component of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; in 1997 there were more than twenty faculty and staff working in the department.
The collection is organized as one series:
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics transferred their records to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in May 1990.
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics records were processed in February 1997. Original file groupings were maintained and the folders were rearranged alphabetically. Staples and paper clips were removed from the collection and duplicates discarded. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.