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Fresno County, UC Cooperative Extension Records
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The University of California Cooperative Extension, Fresno County Records span the years 1914-2000 (bulk). Records in the collection include annual and historical reports that describe the history of UCCE work in the county. Series 2-6 reflect the name of the farm advisor who was the last custodian of the records in that series. The records in these series reflect the custodian's research focus and tenure and can also include records inherited from previous farm advisors. Topics found in these records include the growing and harvesting of almonds, pistachios, and other nuts as well as their irrigation, fumigation, and other activities. Other documents portray soil surveys, soil formation, and fertilizers and there is significant material related to alfalfa and cotton. Themed newsletters about seeds, soil, water, hay and foraging are located in the series named for farm advisor Shannon Mueller. The collection contains a variety of formats including typed reports, data sets, local newsletters, and other crop trial records and documentation. Photographs and audiovisual materials are currently being processed and will be made available upon completion.
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. While arrangements have evolved, advisors continue to work in all California counties today and address problems ranging from soil conditions and land reclamation to irrigation; from livestock breeding to improved varietals; and from mechanization to disease and pest management, to enable farms to increase efficiency and productivity.
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This collection is intended to support teaching, research, and private study. Copyright belongs to the Regents of the University of California. Use of the materials beyond that allowed by fair use or by any Creative Commons licenses assigned requires the written permission of the copyright owner(s). For further information, please contact the University of California, Merced Library at library@ucmerced.edu.
This collection is open for research. A portion of the records have been digitized and are freely available online. The material is located at the Fresno County Cooperative Extension Office. For help locating material please contact library@ucmerced.edu.