Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive

Visit the archive and share your story now!

The history of American agriculture has been marked by tremendous transformations. Over the past seventy years, farming has become both more efficient and more sustainable, even as fewer and fewer Americans make their living as farmers. The transformation of American agriculture will be a major thread running through the American Enterprise exhibition.

With the Agriculture Innovation and Heritage Archive, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is asking the public to help preserve the recent history of farming and ranching across the United States. Visitors can share their stories about the technologies and innovations that have changed agricultural work, as well as how these changes have affected their communities. The museum hopes to build a comprehensive digital archive of modern agriculture through user-submitted user-submitted personal stories, photos, videos, audio files, and other ephemera. The Agriculture Innovation and Heritage Archive will be used by the Smithsonian’s staff to help prepare new exhibitions like American Enterprise, and several entries will be featured on our the exhibition blog. Additionally, all accepted submissions will be preserved and made publicly available on the archive’s website, creating a new online database for students, researchers, and scholars.

Learn more about the archive and share your own stories about modern American agriculture by visiting the project’s homepage.

Example Stories:


Photo. Paul Bardole improved his tractor by building a cab to protect himself from the elements, Rippey, Iowa, mid 1940s.
Photo. Illinois corn and soybean farmer Jim Rapp is an early adapter and promoter of no-till farming.
Photo. Bracero worker holding a short handle hoe, California, 1956
Photo. Cultivating soybeans the old fashioned way, Aurora, Illinois, 1952.
Photo. Parker ranch cowboy, Masa Kawamoto, won the championship working horse honors atop his horse Icing, Oahu, Hawaii, 1962.
Mary Hawley Bardole driving a Ford tractor and towing a flare box wood wagon full of soybeans, Rippey, Iowa, mid 1940s.
Photo. Pat Campbell’s family has been operating a dairy operation on their Spring Hill, Tennessee Cleburne Farm since the 1870s.