Page images

by the State agricultural colleges in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture.

The act provides for instruction in the economical production of farm products and in securing better markets and fairer prices for the same. It is not the province, however, of the extension service to act directly as buying or selling agent for the farmer, any more than it is to grow and harvest crops for him. The extension service is advisory in character and should furnish information the application of which will bring better results both in the production and in the marketing of farm products.


The Nation.—Cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics is supervised nationally by the United States Department of Agriculture. The director of extension service at the State agricultural college submits to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, for approval, projects of all proposed extension work for that particular State. After the projects are approved the Secretary of Agriculture certifies to the United States Treasurer that the State is entitled to receive the funds allotted to it.

The State.-Within the various States extension work in agriculture and home economics is administered by an extension division established in connection with the State agricultural college. The extension division is headed by an extension director under whose supervision various men are in charge of different lines of work. In some States the extension activities are classified as county agent work, club work, specialists' work, etc. In other States the more satisfactory classification for the purpose of efficient administration appears to be in terms of subject matter, as dairying, poultry, agronomy, etc. The production and distribution of farm products are largely on a subject matter basis, and by proper organization of the personnel all persons engaged in extension work along a particular subject line may be. united for the development of that particular industry.

An extension specialist is in charge of a particular line of subject-matter work and is responsible for its development within the State. He furnishes the facts and technical information needed to make the work effective. He supervises the work and, when needed, assists the county agent in carrying out the projects on that particular activity in a county. He is responsible for records of the work done along his line and for making up a State report of the same.

A State club leader and his assistants look after the organization part of junior or club work. Junior activities, in so far as they include subject matter, receive attention from a specialist in that particular line the same as the work for the farmers. The county agricultural agent has immediate supervision of the club work in a county in some States, and, in others, county club agents supervise the club work. This, with other lines of activities, make up the county program of work.

The form of organization of extension work has many minor modifications in different States, but generally speaking the foregoing is typical.


The number of persons engaged in cooperative extension work on
July 1, 1922, was as follows:
County agricultural agents.

2, 433
Home demonstration agents.

975 Boys and girls' club work..

328 Total including specialists and others.

4, 487 Of the 3,041 counties in the United States reporting agricultural products, 2,103, or 69 per cent, had men county extension agents and 801, or 26 per cent, had women county extension agents.


The Smith-Lever Act provided that each State should re.eive $10,000 annually for cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, making a total of $180,000 annually beginning with the fiscal year 1914–15. For the year 1915–16, an additional $600,000 was to be distributed among the States in the proportion that the rural population of that State bears to the total rural population of all the States according to the last census. An additional $500,000 more than the appropriation for the last preceding year was to be made each year up to 1922–23 when the total annual amount available to the States was to be $4,580,000. However, no payment of the appropriation other than the original $10,000 to each State was to be made in any year to any State until an equal sum had been appropriated by the legislature of such State or provided by State, county, college, local authority, or individual contributions from within the State.


In many States county organizations called farm bureaus have been developed to support the county agents in their work. Membership may include any person interested in better farming. The executive committee of the farm bureau arranges for local expenses of county agent work, including travel within the county, office expenses, etc., and its committees assist the county agent in carrying out the county program of work.

In other States the local responsibility is placed upon community organization of farmers. A central county organization deals in cooperation with the county agent with such problems as are countywide.

The county agricultural agent is the local representative of the extension service. It is his duty to bring to the farmers in the county the results of scientific investigation and the experience of successful farmers, and by such information and demonstrations influence farmers generally to put into operation the best agricultural practices. He is expected to assist all economic and social forces working for the improvement of agriculture and country life. He gives instruction not only in improved production methods but also in the economics of agriculture. He works as far as possible through existing agencies and organizations such as the Grange, farmers' unions, and community clubs. He may also aid in forming new organizations to benefit the agricultural interests of the county.


A community usually represents a territory that has a common trading center, or other common interest such as a centralized township school. In localities where natural centers are lacking the township is used as the community unit.

It has been found essential to community progress that the people of a community take upon themselves some responsibilities in deciding the particular line of extension work that should be undertaken, and the methods by which it is to be carried on; also for doing some of the actual work in accomplishing the results.

Definite aims and purposes are outlined in a specific program for the community. In the development of the program the county agent meets with representatives of the community, or else a meeting is held where the problems of the community are discussed and three or four of the major needs are selected as the program of work for the ensuing year. An active farmer is selected as the leader for each particular project in the community. It is his duty to locate suitable farms or herds for demonstration purposes, keep the executive committee and the county agent informed as to the progress of the project, and advance this particular activity in the community in every possible way.

The sum of the community programs makes up the county program which the county executive committee approves and follows up throughout the year.

To the accomplishment of this program are enlisted the energies of the executive committee, the county agent, the extension specialists, the leaders in the respective lines of work in the communities in the county, and all other extension agencies connected in any way with the projects adopted by the various committees. Each person has his own part to do, and all are expected to unite in an endeavor to accomplish a definite result.

With the adoption of a definite program for each county, information is at hand at the beginning of the year as to how much help will be needed for the specialists in different lines of work, and plans for the extension work of the State as a whole can readily be made. The extension service thus grows in the character and number of extension specialists as the needs of the State develop.

At the beginning of the year the projects for each community are charted and the names of the committee leaders shown. Throughout the year close touch is maintained with the program by all persons connected with the projects, and at the close of the year the program is checked by the community leaders, a county agent, and the extension specialist to show what has been accomplished in the communities, the counties, and the State during the year.

Since it will be impossible within the limits of this paper to discuss in detail the methods and activities of all the various lines of work. the remainder of this paper will be devoted to some of the more outstanding dairy extension activities.


In the United States one of the most important projects in dairy extension work is the cooperative bull association. In these associations, as is well known, the number of dairymen owning a total of about 70 cows and living within a radius of 2 or 3 miles, form a " bloc." Two or more similar blocs compose the association. A sufficient number of high-class bulls are purchased to furnish one to each bloc. At the end of every two years the bulls are rotated from bloc to bloc. If there are four blocs the bulls originally purchased serve the association for eight years. The cost varies in different associations. A rather common basis is $15 per cow. If there are 70 cows in a bloc, sufficient funds are available to purchase sires valued at $1,000 each. A man having 10 cows would thus invest $150, for which in a four-bloc association he would have part ownership in four $1,000 bulls, and through the rotation system would get the use of these high-class sires for eight years.

The plan of procedure in organizing such associations in a county is definitely outlined in project form, as are all other extension activities. The exact form and details of the projects differ in various States, but the following will serve as a good example: County project No.

Year Name: Improvement of dairy stock.

Object : To increase the number of registered bulls and high grade or regis tered dairy stock.

Method of procedure: This work will be carried on by means of junior and senior cooperators, with follow-up work by the county extension workers of

County, in cooperation with the extension office, the dairy specialist, cooperators, and club members, in accordance with the following plan : The State extension office and dairy specialist will

1. Furnish agreement forms when necessary.
2. Furnish literature in regard to cooperative bull associations.
3. When requested to do so, furnish write-ups for local publications or

circular letters in regard to the value of high-class, purebred bulls

and high grade or registered stock, 4. Furnish suggestions on constitution and by-laws for the operation of

cooperative bull associations. 5. Assist in locating desirable animals. 6. Publish a list of breeders of purebred dairy stock within the State. 7. Assist as far as possible with meetings arranged by county workers 8. Summarize results of work in the State as a guide to further pro.

cedure. The county worker will1. Whenever and wherever possible, through meetings, personal contacts,

etc., bring before the people, especially the dairymen, the advantages of keeping better dairy stock and the improvement of the dairy

2. Secure cooperators to replace scrub bulls with registered bulls during

the current year.
3. Attempt to import into the county

high grade or registered
4. Secure

high grade or registered bred heifers, calves, or cows for junior cooperators. 5. Use every means possible to persuade prospective buyers to buy only

subject to the tuberculin test for tuberculosis and the agglutination and complement fixation tests for abortion, and reject all animals showing positive tests; all animals to be tested before being imported, and the seller to furnish purchaser with certificate from some reliable laboratory showing results of each test.

· New Mexico.

6. Where practical, will secure signers to an agreement lv vrganize a co

operative bull association or to buy a community bull. 7. Will report to specialist the number of registered bulls and the number

of cows, both grade and registered, purchased as a result of this work. When a registered bull has been purchased, he will report the number of cows in the purchaser's herd, and the number of neighbors with the size of their herds, that will have access to the

bull. 8. Will give as great publicity as possible to the project. 9. Will notify the specialist by June 1, 1923, the approximate date and

length of time he can be used to advantage in the county. Junior cooperators will1. Carry on this project in accordance with the rules governing calf club work.


Results will be measured in the county by

1. Number, breed, sex, and age of animals secured.
2. Number of community associations and number of cooperative bull

associations organized.
3. Number of cows affected in the herds of the owners of the purebred

bulls, and their neighbors. 4. Improvement of herds. Signed : Date.

[blocks in formation]

Remarkable improvement has taken place in the type and production of the dairy cows in the community where these associations have been operating. For example, in one association the average production for 17 daughters of 3 bulls was 6,919 pounds of milk and 300.6 pounds butterfat, while that of the 17 dams was only 5,775 pounds of milk and 237.3 pounds of butterfat, an average increase of 1,144 pounds of milk and 63.3 pounds of butterfat. for each daughter compared with her dam.

On July 1, 1922, there were 190 bull associations in the United States, with a total membership of 6,102. These associations owned 857 bulls, which were mated with 40,669 cows, of which 33,516 were purebred.

Through the efforts of dairy extension workers during the year 1921–22 There were 31,654 purebred sires of all kinds placed on farms not before having purebred sires, or to replace purebred sires of inferior quality. There were also 901 livestock breeders' associations organized, with a membership of 21,190.


Much improvement has been made in the average yield of milk and butterfat per cow in herds in the cow-testing associations throughout the country. In these associations, as is well known, a man is hired

« PreviousContinue »