Pennsylvania Agricultural Cooperative Extension records, 1892-2013

1131

Collection Overview

Title:
Pennsylvania Agricultural Cooperative Extension records
Dates (Inclusive):
1892-2013
Creator:
Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Extension Service
Abstract:
Administered by Penn State since 1913, agricultural extension agents have conveyed information about economics, forestry, pesticides, soils, agronomy, family life, and other subjects from the Penn State Experiment Station and School of Agriculture to practicing farmers across Pennsylvania.
Abstract:
The bulk of this collection contains the county extension agents' narrative and statistical annual reports, financial records, publications, correspondence course records, a large collection of glass slides.
Collection Number:
1131
Size:
249 Cubic feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the  library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical Note

In 1911 Pennsylvania State College president Edwin E. Sparks requested money from the state legislature to begin a system of county agricultural agents to act as conduits of information between the School of Agriculture and Experiment Station and practicing farmers. Not until 1913 did the General Assembly allocate $18,000 for agricultural extension which provided agents in Bradford, Chester, and Lancaster counties, to start. By 1921 sixty-two of the sixty-seven counties had full-time agents. Pennsylvania was one of only six states that had a centralized extension organization independent of local control. The agents provided technical information from the USDA and the experiment station, supervised experimental plantings, judged at local fairs, organized 4H youth clubs, publicized their activities in newspapers, and recruited students for Penn State.

The extension service employed specialists in economics, forestry, pesticides, soils, agronomy, family life, and other subjects. The College of Agriculture administered Pennsylvania Cooperative Extension until 1998 when it was centralized as Penn State Outreach and Cooperative Extension.

Correspondence Courses began in 1892 under the title, Chautauqua Agriculture Course, based on independent reading and local discussion groups. The earliest Penn State correspondence courses were on technical agriculture, animal husbandry, and horticulture (plant science). It enrolled 2,,000 students by 1896, offering sixty lessons in five subject divisions; crop production, livestock production, horticulture and floriculture, dairying, and domestic economy. The aim of the free correspondence program was to provide a better understanding of the underlying principles of farming to practitioners. The courses were open to anyone to study at their own convenience but the College encouraged students to participate in local circles of five to twenty students. In 1898, title was changed to Correspondence Courses in Agriculture. By 1917, there were 5,500 active students. Online courses replaced correspondence courses in the 1990s.

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Collection Overview

The bulk of this collection contains the county extension agents' narrative and statistical annual reports of their activities. Also includes financial records, plans of work for the extension service, USDA publications, correspondence, Neighborhood Youth Corps records, Extension bulletins, and compiled historical information about the program. It includes a large collection of glass and cellulose slides for demonstrations, a slide carousel, several ledgers of correspondence course registrants, audio cassettes, moving image recordings, and framed prints.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

University records are restricted for 20 years after the date of creation. Personnel files are restricted for 72 years or until the death of the individual. Access to student files are restricted for the life of the individual, in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Pennsylvania Agricultural Cooperative Extension records, PSUA 1131, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Pennsylvania State University. Agricultural Extension Service

Genre(s)

  • Microforms
  • Moving Image
  • Photographic
  • Scrapbooks
  • Graphic
  • Cartographic
  • Audio
  • Artifacts

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Collection Inventory

Click associated checkboxes to select items to request. When you have finished, click the Submit Request button.

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