The Purdue Agriculturist

Beginning in December 1906 and continuing until May 1969, School of Agriculture undergraduate students published their stories of the people, events, activities, challenges, and successes of Purdue Agriculture academic programs in The Purdue Agriculturist magazine.

Photo of Students preparing The Agriculturalist issue for December 1942.

Students prepare The Purdue Agriculturist issue for December 1942.

No other known publication comes remotely close in recording the evolution and the history of the Purdue Agriculture undergraduate degree and Eight-Week Winter Courses certificate programs during the period. For more than 1,900 students, the magazine was an excellent mechanism for developing and practicing communication skills.

Students were the observers, reporters, editors, and business managers who published the magazine and distributed it throughout Indiana and elsewhere.

Nine-hundred and fifty students held senior staff positions in producing the 60 volumes of magazine. A comparable number held junior staff positions, or were reporters.

There were nine issues in each volume during the early years and six issues in the last several years of the magazine. It was not produced for a period during World War II. The annual subscription cost was 50 cents in 1906-07 and $1.96 in 1968-69. Most of the magazine’s production costs were financed by advertisements.

Early volumes of the magazine devoted a large portion of the content to new Purdue research findings of interest to Indiana farmers. As time went on, most articles focused on agricultural campus news, student activities, feature articles on students and faculty, and agricultural alumni programs.

In the mid-1920s, the magazine became the primary communications mechanism for the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association and maintained that role for more than 30 years.

In 1908-09, a “Household Economics” editor became one of the seven senior staff positions of the magazine. Until the magazine ceased publication, there was a “Home Economics” editor on staff and a small portion of the articles was related to the School of Home Economics.

The Purdue Agriculturist was and is a priceless source of School of Agriculture academic program history.

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