The Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station was established in Fayette County in September, 1885, after President James Patterson and two Board of Trustees members attended a meeting in Washington, D.C.; at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which representatives from state agricultural colleges discussed the need for scientific, experimental, agricultural research. Roughly a dozen other state colleges had established experiment stations as part of their agriculture departments, and Patterson urged that Kentucky follow suit. This trend preceded the official legislation passed by Congress in 1887, known as the Hatch Act, which called for every state to establish agriculture experiment stations associated with the state agricultural college, and provided federal funding for those experiment stations. Following this act, the experiment station became officially and legally known as the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station, federally funded, controlled by the state of Kentucky, and housed in the University of Kentucky Agriculture department.
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