In order to tame the West, the government created a system of Land Grant Colleges, as part of the Morrill Act in 1862. Each state was to establish a college, where their principle focus was on agriculture and engineering. If you want to help the West, they needed to find better ways to farm and ranch and large engineering feats that could help with issues, like irrigation. I was fortunate enough to attend two land grant colleges, VA Tech and The University of Arkansas. Each state has one and you will notice that even today they still specialize in agriculture and engineering.