Farm Plaques and Markers
Allee Experimental Farm | Amy Rodgers | Anderson-Dyas Prairie | Baird Farm | Bentley Farm | Bilsland Memorial Farm | Charles Shaver and Luella and Sarah Blumer | Coles Memorial Farm | Dairy Farm | Diemer-Lagerstrom Farm | Dean Kildee's Desk, Borlaug Learning Center | E. A. Kramme Farm | Gregory Farm | Kiley Powers Century Farm | Marsden Farm | McNay Memorial Research Center | McNay Research and Demonstration Farm | Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experimental Association | Northeast Iowa Research Center and Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station | Northwest Iowa Experimental Association | Packer Family Farm | Paulsen Farm | Richard Moore | Sorenson Farm | Southeast Research Farm | Stevenson-Brown Plots | Tharp Family Farm
Amy (Amalia) Rodgers was an undergraduate ISU horticulture student and student employee at the ISU Horticulture Station. She died in an automobile accident in 2006. Location: SE ¼ Sect. 1, T84N, R24W, Franklin Twp., Story Co.
In 2005, ISU acquired the farm for a new dairy farm. It included a native prairie remnant, formerly known as Black prairie. ISU expanded the prairie and named it for Marvin A. Anderson, former dean, ISU Extension, and Robert Dyas, long-time professor, ISU Landscape Architecture. Anderson used this site in his 1949 M.S. thesis research. Location: SW ¼ Sect. 28, T83N, R24W, Washington Twp., Story Co.
In 1986, Iowa State University received a farm in Jasper County as directed by Henry F. Baird according to his will. The will directed that the farm be given to the State of Iowa for the use and benefit of Iowa State University.
It is generally known that Mr. Baird operated a clothing store in Prairie City, IA. He used the profits from the store to acquire farms during the Depression. He had a son, granddaughter, and grandson-in-law who worked for ISU. Location: SW ¼ Sect. 21, T79N, R21W, Washington Twp., Jasper Co.
The plaque remembers Charles Shaver, ISU swine nutrition farm superintendent and the Blumer sisters. The Blumers left their farmland to ISU for agricultural research. Proceeds of the farms were used to acquire land near Ames for that purpose. Location: NE ¼ Sect. 36, T84N, R25W, Jackson Twp., Boone Co.
The farm was a gift to ISU in 1974 by Jessie V. Coles in honor of her parents John Wesley Coles and Eda Coles. Ms. Coles’ letter to Dean Lee Kolmer in 1974 stated that, “It is my desire that the proceeds from your operation of the farm be used at your discretion to aid either research or scholarships in agriculture with due recognition of my parents.” Location: SE ¼ Sect. 26, T89N, R23W, Williams Twp., Hamilton Co.
This oak desk was used by Henry Herbert (H.H.) Kildee, the fourth Dean of Agriculture at Iowa State, in his Curtiss Hall office on the Ames campus.
Kildee was born on a farm in Mitchell County near Osage in 1884. He earned his bachelor's degree from Iowa State in 1908, and joined the college staff in 1909. He served as head of Animal Husbandry from 1918 to 1935 and Dean of Agriculture from 1933 to 1949.
Teaching students and judging livestock were his passions. Kildee was a judge at every major livestock show in the United States and many abroad, judging all breeds of dairy and beef cattle, swine and draft horses. Kildee Hall on the Iowa State campus bears his name, and is home to the ISU Animal Science Department.
In 1960, land for the “new” Agronomy/Ag Engineering Research Farm was purchased by the Iowa Crops and Soils Association. The acquisition included the Kramme Farm, the Olsen Farm, and Leonard Farm, which were contiguous and created a 400+ acre block. Location: NW ¼ Sect. 9, T83N, R25W, Colfax Twp., Boone Co.
Iowa State cabinet, Wallace Learning Center, Armstrong Research Farms, Lewis
In 1996, the Powers family willed this farm to the ISU Agricultural Foundation. The farm was later sold for the benefit of ISU. Location: NW ¼ NW 1/4 , Sect. 25, Washington Twp., T88N, R27W, Webster Co. The plaque is bronze, approximately 3 ft by 2 ft with raised letters and weighs 85 lb. It is mounted at eye-level on two galvanized steel posts set in concrete. The plaque is parallel with the county gravel road in the fence line and is legible from the roadway. It was erected in the fall of 2001 and paid for by the ISU Ag Foundation. Erected cost was about $1,000. The type of signage was selected for permanence and low maintenance. It is analogous to a historical marker. The buyer (a young farmer) of the Powers’ home farm refused to let the plaque be erected on the farm unless ISU or the Ag Foundation agreed to maintain the old buildings. This was an unreasonable request. He also expressed frustration with the controversy surrounding the Powers Farm. He had hoped to buy the adjacent land, which he had been leasing from a niece of the Powers’. The niece was vocal in the controversy, disgruntled that she was not offered the farm, and terminated his lease. The sign is erected on the nieces’ property 4 inches from the property line and less than 600 yards from the Kiley Powers’ homestead. It is on land originally owned by Kiley Powers’ father. The wording and placement of the sign was approved by the Powers’ niece, Mrs. Ramona Lee of Ames.
The farm was owned by Roscoe Marsden (1902-1998). He bequeathed the proceeds of the 160-acre farm to ISU, Ames Library, and Mayo Clinic. ISU Foundation purchased the farm at public auction and resold it to the Committee for Agricultural Development in 1999 for agricultural research. The tract linked the ISU Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm and the ISU Burkey Farm.
According to Roscoe Marsden’s obituary, he was born in Boone, IA to P.A. and Bunce Marsden. He graduated with a degree in ag science from ISU. He married Katherine Burns in May 1931. She died in 1992. He was past president of the National Corn Growers Association and traveled to 55 countries. He served on the Story County Board of Supervisors and was a member of Rotary Club. Location: SE ¼ Sect. 8, T83N, R25W, Colfax Twp., Boone Co.
The plaque commemorates the gift by Harry and Winnie McNay of their farm to ISU. The McNay Research Farm opened in 1956 and became a 2,000-acre site where ISU focused research in south central Iowa. Location: SE ¼ Sect. 6, T71N, R22W, White Breast Twp., Lucas Co.
The plaque was presented at the 50th anniversary of the McNay Farm in 2006. Location: SE ¼ Sect. 6, T71N, R22W, White Breast Twp., Lucas Co.
Two plaques are mounted on a granite boulder commemorating the Northeast Iowa Research Farm (Center) opening in 1976, the Lucas families (former owners of the farmland), and the Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experimental Association and its original officers. Location: SW ¼ Sect. 24, T94N, R15W, Riverton Twp., Floyd Co.
The plaque commemorates the Northwest Iowa Experimental Association, organized in 1954, that owns the ISU Northwest Research Farm. Location: SW ¼ Sect. 26, T94N, R40W, Liberty Twp., O’Brien Co.
This land was acquired by ISU in 2007 from the Packer family. R.A. Packer, DVM, was a graduate and long-time employee at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. He and his family lived on the farm. Location: NE ¼ Sect. 16, T83N, R24W, Washington Twp., Story Co.
Peter Paulsen, Jr. of Woodbury Co., Iowa, left funds to ISU College of Agriculture that were used to purchase land for research in his memory. Location: SE ¼ Sect. 8, T83N, R25W, Colfax Twp., Boone Co.
The farm was purchased by Committee for Agricultural Development in 1995 from the Sorenson family. Location: SE ¼ Sect. 10, T83N, R25N, Colfax Twp., Boone Co.
A large carved granite boulder commemorates the opening of the Southeast Research Farm in 1987. The farm is owned by the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association. Location: NW ¼ Sect. 29, T74N, R6W, Crawford Twp., Washington Co.
Iowa State College was rapidly expanding in the early 1900s, so the agronomy field research on campus was relocated south of Ames where adjacent Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering farms were established. Professors W.H. Stevenson and P.E. Brown started a long-term crop rotation and soil management study in 1915. The comprehensive study tested effects of lime, manure, and fertilizers in five cropping systems on crop productivity and soil fertility and covered several acres and soils. The results became the basis for Iowa State recommendations to farmers on cropping and soil-amending practices during the first half of the 20th century. The information was beneficial to farmers striving to improve their farming operations. Location: NW ¼ Sect. 20, T83N, R24W, Washington Twp., Story Co.
In 1953, the study was changed from a test of lime and manure to evaluate only commercial fertilizers. In 1963, agronomy and agricultural engineering research was moved to a new site in Boone County, except for these continuous corn plots of the long-term study on a Nicollet-Clarion soil complex. Herds and flocks for teaching animal science occupied the vacated land. In 2006, the study was redesigned to accommodate larger machinery.
The Tharp family donated 262 acres to ISU in 2019. The land is operated by the nearby ISU McNay Research Farm, Chariton, IA. Location: SW ¼ SW ¼ Sect. 34, T72N, R22W, Whitebreast Twp., Lucas Co.