The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was the first federal legislation to develop and fund courses in vocational agriculture in the United States.
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The Smith-Hughes Act
The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was the first federal legislation to provide funding specifically for vocational education. Prior to this time, most vocational programs were offered through agricultural high schools and were supported by state and local funds. The Smith-Hughes Act appropriated federal funds to states for the purpose of developing and expanding courses in vocational agriculture. This act marks the beginning of federal support for vocational education programs.
The George-Deen Act
The George-Deen Act of 1896 was the first legislation to provide federal support for courses in vocational agriculture. The act appropriated $15,000 to be divided among the states and territories for the purpose of “defraying the expense of organizing and conducting courses in agriculture and industrial education in connection with the colleges established under the laws of the several States.”
The Adams Act
The first attempt to establish federal funding for vocational agriculture courses was the Adams Act of 1906. This act, however, was not successful in providing long-term support for agricultural education. It was not until the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 that courses in vocational agriculture became widely available in the United States. This act provided federal funding to states that agreed to develop and maintain programs in vocational agriculture.