On this day in agriculture history | Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Here are a handful of notable events that shaped agriculture on April 7 over the years.

1 year ago

Aside from some extreme drought in southern Texas, severe drought in southwest Kansas, and a small area of abnormally dry conditions in northwest North Dakota, the top corn growing states had adequate moisture to start the planting season last year.

Map of drought conditions on April 7, 2020
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

31 years ago

Farm Aid’s fourth concert at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7, 1990, brought 70 artists together with farmers plus environmental and consumer advocates. The musical line-up included Bonnie Raitt; Elton John; Don Henley; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and Garth Brooks. The show sold out in 90 minutes. A new message emerged from that effort: the well-being of our land, food, and water supply depends on a network of family farmers who care about how our food is grown.

Farm-Aid-IV-stage
Photo credit: Paul Natkin

74 years ago

Automaker Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947, at the age of 83. As a young boy, he showed aptitude in mechanics. By 15, he’d built his first steam engine. He completed a machinist’s apprenticeship in 1882 and began working as an engineer at Edison Illuminating Company in 1891. Thomas Edison became a lifelong mentor and friend. Later, in June of 1903, Ford and 12 others created Ford Motor Company.

Henry Ford with a Model T in 1921
Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

164 years ago

A late-season freeze brought snow to every state in the Union on April 7, 1857. Even as far south as Houston, Texas, the mercury dropped to 21°F.

216 years ago

On April 7, 1805, Explorers William Clark and Meriwether Lewis left Fort Maden after a long winter to begin their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Their travels covered what are now many farms and ranches across the West and Midwest.

As Lewis began his journey into a land “on which the foot of civilized man had never trodden,” he proclaimed this day of departure as “among the most happy of my life.”

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