Learn About the Hatch Act, the Birth of a US Network of Agricultural Experiment Stations
Act of March 2, 1887;(1) ch. 314,24 stat.440,7 U.S.C.361a et seq.
Chap. 314. — AN ACT to establish agricultural experiment stations in connection with the colleges established in several States under the provisions of an act approved July second, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and of the acts supplementary thereto
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1.(2) It is the policy of Congress to continue the agricultural research at State agricultural experiment stations which has been encouraged and supported by the Hatch Act of 1887, the Adams Act of 1906, the Purnell Act of 1925, the Bankhead-Jones Act of 1935, and title I, section 9, of that Act as added by the Act of August 14, 1946, and Acts amendatory and supplementary thereto, and to promote the efficiency of such research by a codification and simplification of such laws. As used in this Act the terms “State” or “States” are defined to include the several States, including the District of Columbia,(3) Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.(4) As used in this Act, the term “State agricultural experiment station” means a department which shall have been established, under the direction of the college or university or agricultural departments of the college or university in each State in accordance with an Act approved July 2, 1862 (12 Stat.503), entitled “An Act donating public lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts”;(5) or such other substantially equivalent arrangements as any State shall determine.
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Sec.2.(6) It is further the policy of the Congress to promote the efficient production, marketing, distribution, and utilization of products of the farm as essential to the health and welfare of our peoples and to promote a sound and prosperous agriculture and rural life as indispensable to the maintenance of maximum employment and national prosperity and security. It is also the intent of Congress to assure agriculture a position in research equal to that of industry, which will aid in maintaining an equitable balance between agriculture and other segments of our economy. It shall be the object and duty of the State agricultural experiment stations through the expenditure of the appropriations hereinafter authorized to conduct original and other researches, investigations, and experiments bearing directly on and contributing to the establishment and maintenance of a permanent and effective agricultural industry of the United States, including researches basic to the problems of agriculture in its broadest aspects, and such investigations as have for their purpose and development and improvement of the rural home and rural life and the maximum contribution by agriculture to the welfare of the consumer, as may be deemed advisable, having due regard to the varying conditions and needs of the respective states.
Sec.3.(7) (a) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this Act such sums as Congress may from time to time determine to be necessary.
(b)(1)(8) Out of such sums each State shall be entitled to receive annually a sum of money equal to and subject to the same requirement as to use for marketing research projects as the sums received from Federal appropriations for State agricultural experiment stations for the fiscal year 1955, except the amounts heretofore made available from the fund known as the “Regional research fund, Office of Experiment Stations” shall continue to be available for support of cooperative regional projects as defined in subsection 3(c)(3), and the said fund shall be designated “Regional research fund, State agricultural experiment stations”, and the Secretary of Agriculture shall be entitled to receive annually for the administration of this Act, a sum not less than that available for this purpose for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1955: Provided, That if the appropriations hereunder available for distribution in any fiscal year are less than those for the fiscal year 1955 the allotment to each State and the amounts for Federal administration and the regional research fund shall be reduced in proportion to the amount of such reduction.
(2) There is authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1973, and for each fiscal year thereafter, for payment to the Virgin Islands and Guam, $100,000 each, which sums shall be in addition to the sums appropriated for several States of the United States and Puerto Rico under the provisions of this section. The amount paid by the Federal Government to the Virgin Islands and Guam pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed during any fiscal year, except the fiscal years ending June 30, 1971, and June 30, 1972, when such amount may be used to pay the total cost of providing services pursuant to this Act, the amount available and budgeted for expenditure by the Virgin Islands and Guam for the purposes of this Act.
(c) Any sums made available by the Congress in addition to those provided for in subsection (b) hereof for the State agricultural experiment station work shall be distributed as follows:
1. Twenty per centum shall be allotted equally to each State;
2. Not less than 52 per centum of such sums shall be allotted to each State, as follows: One-half in an amount which bears the same ratio to the total amount to be allotted as the rural population of the State bears to the total rural population of all the States as determined by the last preceding decennial census current at the time each such additional sum is first appropriated; and one-half in an amount which bears the same ratio to the total amount to be allotted as the farm population of all the States as determined by the last preceding decennial census current at the time such additional sum is first appropriated;
3. Not more than 25 per centum shall be allotted to the States for cooperative research in which two or more State agricultural experiment stations are cooperating to solve problems that concern the agriculture of more than one State. The funds available for such purposes, together with funds available pursuant to subsection (b) hereof for like purpose shall be designated as the “Regional research fund, State agricultural experiment stations”, and shall be used only for such cooperative regional projects as are recommended by a committee of nine persons elected by and representing the directors of the State agricultural experiment stations, and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture. The necessary travel expenses of the committee of nine persons in performance of their duties may be paid from the fund established by this paragraph.
5. Three per centum shall be available to the Secretary of Agriculture for administration of this Act. These administrative funds may be used for transportation of scientists who are not officers or employees of the United States to research meetings convened for the purpose of assessing research opportunities or research planning.(10)
(d) Of any amount in excess of $90,000 available under this Act for allotment to any State, exclusive of the regional research fund, State agricultural experiment stations, no allotment and no payments thereof shall be made in excess of the amount which the State makes available out if its own funds for research for the establishment and maintenance of facilities necessary for the prosecution of such research: And provided further, That if any State fails to make available for such research purposes for any fiscal year a sum equal to the amount in excess of $90,000 to which it may be entitled for such year, the remainder of such amount shall be withheld by the Secretary of Agriculture.
(e) “Administration” as used in this section shall include participation in planning and coordinating cooperative regional research as defined in subsection 3(c)3.
(f) In making payments to States, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to adjust any such payment to the nearest dollar.
Sec.4.(11) Moneys appropriated pursuant to this Act shall also be available, in addition to meeting expenses for research and investigations conducted under the authority of section 2, for printing and disseminating the results of such research, retirement of employees subject to the provisions of an Act approved March 4, 1940 (54 Stat.39), administrative planning and direction, and for the purchase and rental of land and construction, acquisition, alteration, or repair of buildings necessary for conducting research. The State agricultural experiment stations are authorized to plan and conduct any research authorized under section 2 of this Act in cooperation with each other and such other agencies and individuals as may contribute to the solution of the agricultural problems involved, and moneys appropriated pursuant to this Act shall be available for paying the necessary expenses of planning, coordinating, and conducting such cooperative research.
Sec.5.(12) Sums available for allotment to the States under the terms of this Act, excluding the regional research fund authorized by subsection 3(c)3, shall be paid to each State agricultural experiment station in equal quarterly payments beginning on the first day of October of each fiscal year upon vouchers approved by the Secretary of Agriculture. Each such station authorized to receive allotted funds shall have a chief administrative officer known as a director, and a treasurer or other officer appointed by the governing board of the station. Such treasurer or other officer shall receive and account for all funds allotted to the State under the provisions of this Act and shall report, with the approval of the director to the Secretary of Agriculture on or before the first day of December of each year a detailed statement of the amount received under provisions of this Act during the preceding fiscal year, and of its disbursement on schedules prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture. If any portion of the allotted moneys received by the authorized receiving officer of any State agricultural experiment station shall by any action of contingency be diminished, lost, or misapplied, it shall be replaced by the State concerned and until so replaced no subsequent appropriation shall be allotted or paid to such State.
Sec.6.(13) Bulletins, reports, periodicals, reprints or articles, and other publications necessary for the dissemination of results of the researches and experiments, including lists of publications available for distribution by the experiment stations, shall be transmitted in the mails of the United States under penalty indicia: Provided, however, That each publication shall bear such indicia as are prescribed by the Postmaster General may from time to time prescribe. Such publications may be mailed from the principal place of business of the station or from an established subunit of said station.
Sec.7.(14) The Secretary of Agriculture is hereby charged with the responsibility for the proper administration of this Act, and is authorized and directed to prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out its provisions. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to furnish such advice and assistance as will best promote the purposes of this Act, including participation in coordination of research initiated under this Act by the State agricultural experiment stations, from time to time to indicate such lines of inquiry as to him seem most important, and to encourage and assist in the establishment and maintenance of cooperation by and between the several State agricultural experiment stations, and between the stations and the United States Department of Agriculture.
On or before the first day of October in each year after the passage of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall ascertain as to each State whether it is entitled to receive its share of the annual appropriations for agricultural experiment stations under this Act and the amount which thereupon each is entitled, respectively, to receive.
Whenever it shall appear to the Secretary of Agriculture from the annual statement of receipts and expenditures of funds by any State agricultural experiment station that any portion of the preceding annual appropriation allotted to the station under this Act remains unexpended, such amount shall be deducted from the next succeeding annual allotment to the State concerned.
If the Secretary of Agriculture shall withhold from any State any portion of the appropriations available for allotment, the facts and reasons therefor shall be reported to the President and the amount involved shall be kept separate in the Treasury until the close of the next Congress. If the next Congress shall not direct such sum to be paid, it shall be carried to surplus.
Sec.8.(15) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impair or modify the legal relation existing between any of the colleges or universities under whose direction State agricultural experiment stations have been established and the government of the States in which they are respectively located. States having agricultural experiment stations separate from such colleges or universities and established by law, shall be authorized to apply such benefits to research at stations so established by such States: Provided, That in any State in which more than one such college, university, or agricultural experiment station has been established the appropriations made pursuant to this Act for such State shall be divided between such institutions as the legislature of such State shall direct.
Sec.9.(16) The Congress may at any time, amend, suspend, or repeal any or all of the provisions of this Act.
(1) The Hatch Act was amended in its entirety by the Act of August 11, 1955, ch. 790, 68 Stat.671.
(2) 7 U.S.C.361a.
(3) Amended by Public Law 93-471, 88 Stat. 1429, which defined State to include the District of Columbia.
(4) Amended by Public Law 92-318, 86 Stat. 351, which defined State to include Guam and the Virgin Islands.
(5) First Morrill Act
(6) 7 U.S.C. 361b. v (7) 7 U.S.C. 361c.
(8) The Act of June 23, 1972, Public Law 93-318, Title V, sec. 506, 86 Stat. 351, designated existing provisions as par. (b)(1) and added par. (b)(2).
(9) The Food and Agricultural Act of 1977, Public Law 95-113, section 1466, 91 Stat. 1018, repealed (c)4 which read: “Not less than 20 per centum of any sums appropriated pursuant to this subsection for distribution to States shall be used by State agricultural experiment stations for conducting marketing research projects approved by the Department of Agriculture.”
(10) The last sentence of paragraph (5) was added by the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, Public Law 95-113, section 1446, 91 Stat. 1018.
(11) 7 U.S.C. 361d.
(12) 7 U.S.C. 361e, Act of April 21, 1976, Public Law 94-273, 90 Stat. 373, substituted “October” and “December” for “July” and “September”.
(13) 7 U.S.C. 361f.
(14) 7 U.S.C. 361g. Public Law 94-273, 90 Stat. 376, substituted “October” for “July” in second paragraph. The last paragraph of section 7 which required annual reports was repealed by Public Law 86-533, sec. 1(22), 74 Stat. 249.
(15) 7 U.S.C. 361h. Amended by the Act of August 11, 1955, ch. 790, sec. 1, 69 Stat.674.
(16) 7 U.S.C. 361i. Amended by the Act of August 11, 1955, c. 790, sec 1, 69 Stat.674.