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Madera County, UC Cooperative Extension Records

About this Collection

At the turn of the previous century, growing concern over the quality of life for rural Americans prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to appoint a Commission on Country Life in 1908. One of the direct outcomes of the Commission’s recommendations was the passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914, which established a national extension service to place the knowledge generated at land-grant universities into the hands of farmers and rural citizens. The Agricultural Extension Service formalized and built upon existing efforts of land-grant universities to enhance the knowledge of farmers and apply scientific discoveries for improved agricultural practices. Beginning in 1913, the Agriculture Extension Service, later known as UC Cooperative Extension, placed farm advisors employed by the University of California in every county that formed a farm bureau and agreed to sponsor Extension Service work. In 1914, U.C. Cooperative Extension (UCCE) opened its Madera County office. The records in this collection were created and collected by UCCE Madera County staff and contain the files of Farm Advisor Phoebe Gordon. Other materials document crop trials, livestock management and viticulture research and development. These records reveal the implementation of farming techniques and crop research and experimentation. The county’s 4-H records demonstrate the youth program’s long history throughout the county and state and consist of historical materials, administrative files, and examples of project work, among other documents. The UC Cooperative Extension records for Madera County provide a glimpse into some of California’s rural and agricultural communities during the twentieth century. View collection guide.

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2,531 items found in this collection

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