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Cooperative Extension Service records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-16.34

Scope and Contents

The records of Cooperative Extension consist of county and project reports beginning in 1913. These county reports contain information on Extension activities and may give some detail about a particular project in that county or a specific agent. The project reports contain information about project work in the whole state. The reports may be in a narrative report format or a preprinted form. Some include appendices that include newspaper articles about activities or handouts created for activities. Many of the county and project reports include photographs of activities. Individual reports that contain photographs are indicated on the finding aid. Some of the reports arranged alphabetically by county (rather than chronologically) may be duplicates. The collection also includes narrative reports, annual reports, statistical reports, monthly and weekly reports, and programs (or plans) of work, which are arranged by county. The narrative reports, later referred to as progress reports, are a summary of the county extension office's activities for a given year. Often they include photographs, newspaper clippings, and/or charts and graphs. The annual reports and statistical reports are more succinct; they simply contain the type and number of activities, number of members of specific clubs, and similar information. The monthly and weekly reports list the type of work done by the extension, the community where it occurred, and the date. The program of work, sometimes called plan of work, details the plans for the following year including the situation, procedure, and goal for each project. Some of these reports may be duplicates of other reports in the collection. Other records include Epsilon Sigma Phi - Alpha Psi Alpha records which contain yearbooks, minutes, National Council materials, and bylaws and constitution. The Office of the Director records include the interoffice newsletter “From the Director’s Desk” for 1953-1957. It contains events and news information relevant to extension agents. There is also correspondence from September 1973.

The Administration files include plans of work, project and budget information, Agriculture Adjustment Act materials for wheat, corn, sugar beets, potatoes, rye, drought relief, and livestock including circulars and forms. Other materials include form letters to extension personnel, reports about the administration of extension works, and employee lists for 1909 to 1965 compiled by Herbert Berg. There are also a few files about farmers and war time problems.

The Programs records include a file on a tourist short course, information on television courses and a farm film list, and the report "A Plan for Evaluating the Over-All Effectiveness of County Agricultural Agents in Directing a County Extension Program" by A. A. Griffith and Alvin Goottsch from 1953.

The Agricultural Program records include articles about various agricultural topics including soil conservation, livestock, insects, and dairy,

The Family Living Education Programs records contain information on programs and projects, notes on Michigan Farm Bureau women’s meetings, publications from the Associated Country Women of the World, and programs and newspaper clippings related to the Michigan Homemakers conferences from 1953-1955.

The 4-H Programs materials include program and project information, club bulletins, 4-H Exploration days, a show handbook, and bylaws of the 4-H Club Foundation.

The Music Extension Program records include workshop materials, annual reports of extension agents including Mabel Miles, county song lists, teacher manuals for rural school music broadcasts, and newspaper articles.

The Resource Development records contain bulletins on natural resources and park management.

The State Level records include annual reports, source of funding information, narrative and travel information.

The Institute for Extension Personnel Development records include publications regarding agents, communication, and users. The Ed Tek newsletters contain information about educational techniques for improving communication, and the Tek notes newsletters contain information about educational media techniques. Also included is the report "Michigan Review of Extension Research."

The Subject Information files contain the history of cooperative extension, reports, brochures, publications and newsletters about various topics including agriculture, horticulture, livestock, marketing, and home economics. Also included are Pearl Terrill's recollections, copies of memos of understanding between MSU and the USDA, project information, and Operation Hitchhike records.

The Electronic Resources include a digitized film of a panel discussion between several former State 4-H Leaders from 2002 and several documents from the Wayne County MSU Extension, including flyers, newsletters, publications, press releases.

This collection also contains materials and correspondence from a Civil Rights lawsuit, Sol de Aztlan vs. Don Stevens, regarding discrimination against Chicanos and migrant workers by Michigan State University and Cooperative Extension.


  • Creation: 1913 - 2013


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

Extension work began at Michigan Agricultural College (now known as Michigan State University) in 1907 with the appointment of the first livestock field agent. In 1912, the Michigan Legislature authorized taxes for extension work. In 1914, the Smith Lever Act created the Cooperative Extension System which was supervised by land grant universities. (Source: MSU Extension Service Web site)


266 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Preservica Public URL|aa6204a1-2c6a-4593-a90d-3384b543f5bc/

Existence and Location of Copies

Some published Cooperative Extension materials, such as bulletins, have been digitized and are available online:;c=1072294006.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Cooperative Extension Service Records
4 Published And Cataloged
October 1966
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US