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Cooperative Extension Service Field Operations

Identifier: Series-0033

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the records of the Cooperative Extension Service relating to field operations. The records span the period 1917-1985.

Included in the series are reports of several types:

1. Plan/program of work. These documents were produced by subject specialists and extension personnel in response to constituent needs. Plans of work outline the objectives and a course of action to follow in achieving those objectives for Extension work in each county in South Carolina. Plans of work exist for almost all years.

2. Monthly reports of county agents and home demonstration agents. These reports record visits made to individual farms or households and the nature of the visit. These reports outline in narrative form the progress of work in the county during the month.

3. Annual reports of Extension and Home Demonstration agents. These reports are compilations of the monthly reports. The reports summarize in statistical fashion all Extension work done in a particular county during the year. Included are figures on the number of visits to families/farms, broadcasts made, bulletins distributed, training meetings held, and 4-H Club projects.

4. Annual reports of specialists detail activities related to particular subjects. For example, the Agronomy report provides a summary of the activities related to agronomy within the entire state for a given year. Often a program/plan of work is included. Topics such as animal and dairy science, agricultural engineering, agronomy, horticulture, and poultry are found in the series.

5. Annual reports of the associate director and director of Extension. The reports for associate director detail activities undertaken by agents and the results of the activities. The reports of the Director contain budget information regarding disbursement of funds for particular projects.

The reports also document extension work with Negroes and in counties having a large Negro population. These reports include plans of work, work reports in home demonstration, county reports, and monthly reports.

For a listing of folders in this series, please see the "Container List" that follows this description.


  • 1917 - 1985
  • 1940 - 1950


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on access.

Administrative History

In 1907 Dr. Seaman Knapp, an agriculturist and special agent employed by the USDA, engaged David Nicholas Barrow to set up a farm demonstration program to instruct farmers in proper farming techniques. Barrow worked in several states east of the Mississippi River and in South Carolina employed two district agents and several county agents.

Intended initially for farmers, the program at the Clemson Agricultural College soon grew to include rural youth and women; O. B. Martin headed the boys program and Marie Cromer Siegler began a home demonstration program for women and a tomato club for girls. (These programs were the precursors to the 4-H Club.)

Barrow served as superintendent of extension until 1909. His successors were William R. Perkins and Joseph N. Harper, specialists in agriculture. During these years, Extension work was administered through the South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station.

With the growth of extension work came demands for Clemson College and the State of South Carolina to provide financial assistance. The Rockefeller Foundation granted funds to be used for these activities, but the amount of aid was insufficient for the increasing demand for information and instruction. Relief came in 1914 when Congressman A. F. Lever sponsored legislation to establish a national extension service; Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act which empowered the government with the responsibility to fund and operate these programs that Knapp and others had worked to establish. As a result of the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, extension work in South Carolina was carried on in conjunction with Clemson College and the USDA; the administrative branch of the service being located at Clemson and the Home Demonstration branch located at Winthrop College in Rock Hill. In 1913, William W. Long was appointed as Director of the Extension Service; he served as Director until November 1934.

By 1930 a county agent and a home demonstration agent, and in many counties subject specialists, had been appointed for each county in the state. After World War II, the role of the Extension Service expanded to address the concerns of urban as well as rural dwellers. To fulfill this role, the Extension Service, under the direction of W. W. Long (1914-1934), D. W. Watkins (1934-1955), George B. Nutt (1955-1969), Wayne T. O'Dell (1969-1984), and Bud Webb (1984-present) disseminated information on hundreds of topics, for example, financial management, consumerism, and health and nutrition. Although the service functioned as part of the National Cooperative Extension Service, activities within the state of South Carolina were determined by extension advisory boards on which local citizens served.


216 Cubic Feet (including 2 cubic feet of photographs and 78 reels of microfilm)

Language of Materials



The series is arranged chronologically. Within each year the reports appear in this order: annual reports, county agent monthly reports (arranged by county), home demonstration reports, monthly reports (arranged by name of the county agent), Negro work, plans of work, reports of specialists, and state summaries.


Office of the Director of Cooperative Extension

Processing Information

Katherine Lee, Adraine Jackson, and Dennis Taylor, 1992. Revised 2/2005.

The conversion of this finding aid to Encoded Archival Description format was made possible with a grant from the South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board in 2009-2010. The finding aid was prepared for encoding by Jen Bingham.

Cooperative Extension Service Field Operations
2010 July 28
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Repository Details

Part of the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Repository

230 Kappa St.
Clemson SC 29634 U.S.A. US