• first land grant sign on campus.
  • land grant connects the land.
  • land grant land abstract.
  • Banner 11.

This legacy belongs to all Iowans.

The first Iowans called for a new kind of college - one based on science and open to all; one dedicated to the education of the working people of Iowa. That was 1846; today we are Iowa State University. The stories here and ones yet to be added tell of our connection to each other, the land and the people's university.  

Sharing stories that recall how Iowa's land grant came to be and ones that tell of significant accomplishments made by those with ties to the university honors the dreams of early settlers.  They are the basis of our legacy and nurture our hopes for future generations - and a strong Iowa.

This website was developed in 2016 as part of the Land Grant Legacy project, a joint effort of ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa State University, and Iowans.

  • LOCATE LAND PARCELS ON THESE MAPS  The Morrill Act of 1862 entitled states to federal land (30,000 acres per Congressman) for the support of a college teaching agriculture and mechanical arts. The land granted to Iowa is located in 27 northwestern Iowa counties. Those same counties contain land granted to 25 other states for the same purpose. Explore the maps to locate land grant parcels, change map background or add layers of historical data, share via social media or print the map.
  • IOWANS FIRST IN THE NATION Historically, Iowans have been first in the nation to take action. Meet the leaders; learn about the role Iowans have taken in agricultural progress and educational commitment.
  • STORIES OF THE LAND, THE PEOPLE ON THE LAND Learn how settlers connected to and built a life on the land.  Learn about current owner activities on the land.

More history: ISU Extension and Outreach's Historical Timeline (PDF) reviews some of the events in ISU Extension and Outreach's history.