Country Life Survey.

Material Information

Country Life Survey.
Series Title:
Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Physical Location:
Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
34. Country Life Survey.


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Rolfs, Peter Henry


A draft of a paper "Country Life Survey" summarizing the results of a survey of farmers in the southern United States about the benefits of farm bulletins, farm institutes, agricultural papers, and demonstration agents

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida Archives
Rights Management:
Copyright Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:

UFDC Membership

Peter Henry Rolfs
University Archives

Full Text


For many thousands of years associated of peoples into a

government have been based upon a umonnarchia form. This has

brought about an extremely individualistic trend cf mind and in

its effect worked to the disadvantage of the assemIlla-e of individ-

uals in the Zovrernment, in that the individuals looked for their

direction of action to someone else. The foiundinF, of the United

States was unon a commumnistic basis and while experiments of a

similar nature had been conducted from time to ti'e these ex eri-

ments sooner or later developed into a mornnarchial 'overnrjent in

fact if it did not develop into that in form. Ilearly all the

population of the United States has be.-n derived directly or

indirectly/ from Europe and consequently the individualistic idea,

rather than the coarmiunal idea has been uppermost. Similarly we

have attempted from the be-inring to formulate our plans of wor-: in

accordance with the tactics or principles laid c down by European

ex,.erienco, fore-tting that the idea of the rverriment in its

incipienc;- ras entirely ant aonistic to that principle.

All of our activities have been iodelled -nd formulated after

the pnrinciplerz laid down by European ex-erience. The Ie Enle'. nd

States have been m-more directly associated with Eurorean Insti tutes

and h as p rtaen mor e nea'rl' of the Eur ;pean ideals, though to so!.,e

de.%'re,- these communities have developed different and ne-: ideals.

The Southern part of the UniteCd Statee, beinr less closely joined

to the mother countries,formulated ideals quite distinctlJ their

own7l, thou'rh not always on a co rnuni':tic 1:"-; The interior and

western portions of the United States have been g sr-ely develoc.ed

S from irmiunil-rants from the east. Pcr various reasons these western

people have had to develop s cormmunistic ide.l: in protection against

the svase Inaians,; protection Eagainst drought as in the irrigation

centers; developin- means of transiv.ortation, etc. Undcr the cir-

curnstances it is not surfprisin that e f the .ne.. ideals of

overnrent arid on scientific wor-: should. pa ta'_e of a. difeen-. t

ideal froi-.i that occurring in the east. About fi ft ~e:-rs, ago

this ideal g.ave e:q-pression in the foun.idi:',g of ihe a-ricultural

and mechanical collae-es, and more lecentl to other institutions_.

directly: or indirectly connected with them. The most recent

e:-.rressionL of this ilepl is the Farrm Extension wori:. This has

been carried on largel_, in the west and central west and south,

but only in a ver lii ted .';w in the -ast in the le-w England

States. -Ie have now had about a ten );ear :period during vhich

these activities have been carried, for-,ard and it is well, there-

fore, to :-ial:e a somewhat careful country life survey to see what

the effects of these different. a.:encies are.

Southern States Survey

A countrt7 life surve;- was undertow ken in four different sections

of the United States. The one in which we are directly interested

is the route that rani throu1 h central T ississippi, be-i..nin.-_ n

at -acon and extending' thriouih- nor th central Alabam&a, through

Georgia in a southeasterly direction, and westward in South Georgia,

This road covered between six and seven hundred miles and on the

road chosen, 1,001 farmers -..rere interviewed. These farmers were

tai:en at random and not by any- special selection. As the road was

one of the mo'st- accessible ones and where agriculture had taken place

only a fe-., ne-'ro f.-rmers were found.


Of the 1001 farmers visited 417 or 41.7' received bulletins.

Of those receiving: bulletins 331, or 79.4'. read them. Of the

number who readi the bulletins 148 or 35.5', made Iprac.tical application

of the information received from the bulletins.


Of the 1001 farmers visited 24 or 2.41 attended Fari'mers' Institutes

and of the nurmb.-r attending PFarz..ers' InstituterE 25"' of them put into

proc tice sometL-hin.c learned at the Institutes.

SA.'ri ul tur:?l Papers

Of the 1001 .feriers visited 454 or 45.40 tooL: farm rpaper's.

Demonstration Agents .

Of th 1001 farmers visited 152 or 15,: of the persons had re-

ceived instruction from farm demonstration agents.. 142 or 94'-.

of these practiced some of the information gotten from the -

demionstrati on ae nts.


Ta:hinac the statistics Fs they occur above, we .,.'ould have 454

as taking farm papers and presumably reading them and being bene-

fitted by *;hem. 148 received. direct benefit from bulletins,

142 received direct benefit from demonstration agents, anrd only

six froe Far"n'ers' Institutes.

In reviewing the survey as it occurred in other parts of the

United States the summary would- not be very different from

that occurring in the South. The proportion of the people

benefitted by the agencies employed is somewhat lage ,?I t In
e t- In

Mking up I*he question a, to what was the preference of the farmers

interviewed, it was found that 242 preferred far. papers, 56 preferred

the bulletins, 22 preferred the demonstration agents, 7 considered

that all the agencies were equally useful, and only t-7o preferred

the Farmers' Institutes, and 670 considered that the farm experience

was th-e only .aid. This large number of people .who disregarded the

agencies emplo-ye'. for rural life improvement is accountable by the

fact that a large percentage of them, if not more than fifty per

cent of them, ,ev.ew little or nothin,- about tLe various agencies

employed for educational extension.

In ,ur a-gricultural! e-xtension work it's necessary for us to

ta.'e the fc.rrers as we fi:d them and do whatever is. best under the

circumstances. For this reason an aricultural survey such as

the one refer ed to above is of the most importance for us as a guide.

To us it teaches a lesson that we have been :ne-lectinP. one of our

Lest opportunities. While much stress has been laid upon the

matter of :prep arin nur,-merous short articles for the agricultural

and other *.ress of the State the survey indicates very clearly that

for the northern part of Florida. we shall be able to accomplish

ver'- much more by malkin, freer use of the papers, especially the

agricultural apers, v.'hether published within the State or outside,

than we haMve heretofore .' Just how this can be accomplished

I am not pre,,ared to state in detail. Ho-wever, much more difficult

tasks have been successfully accomplished than this one appears to be.

In workingn for this agricultural. advancement we mast keep

in mind that the .greater success is made. when the community is brought

into sympath, as a co,,nmunity and we should probably lay less stress

on benefitti-_,:. the individual as an individual.

- Our second most important worth from this agricultural survey

would seem to be that of very largely extending the usefulness of

our printed material in the form of bulls tins.

S:. sands of years as.jK .,. of -pe oples i nto a

O' V:VO 00 !'1 DO, GC IQ: 011 a YaORmcaup aa:LOaOhii roni'i. Th iS iacs

-' !."' i-.':. It on .:' "*-..' i CntiJ.vicualT' :. 1 ronci or x lm= OnlncI in

1i eoiect wor:oc, "co the clsactvauntae or t-i0e asseoae or inclivil-

...,. in -U.e G-Oerient, In 1tiat the i iv au looked i:r their

"'C -.ion 01 action oto someone else. ...C'.-.- ... o01 e UTjijocl.

.toS \, 2w nlon O COns _in ti c 1'asiS act -l Je e :orm ents 00-J

. 1i.o:a no '" na o neen concLtnotecl fronm t1i:e to timne -t0ece ex qeri -

nOencs sooner or la-Ter .cleeeiopeC into c. ronnoarci,1 'overnorenit; I,

.Ot 1 it c1lc no1t cLeva omo -O n.;o LCtOhat im lo~'1. '..'A a11 1 t*

.,.'Ulation ot" the Utnitod States a beon drlovoc d1ieCe.'.-" or

:-_ cto L r ur ope and conro on008O t the l .' 1aiinc ico,

Crater bn the cornm1n3i idea is 1!een iapT r tot. 0 S02i? arly e1

ilnaVO O* O *th D(ginilnp' to0 oOrmricite our plan;3 Of TIOr l: in

a0co0r:ince 1ilth the .tactics o0 princlpLo 11a .. o0n Dy -- Opa

J.lonce, rargeDT that :: 1 l0e11 o" the ;overnaient 1in 1 it

inlciplency 'as 'ento0ly O a "., onisuic To 1tha32t prince J-.

All o0 our COtivities o Ye. DOGe:, lmoi.liec andi Orllatl c atorC ... ,

Othe principlol0 1c CoWn E -, E1.rpO n ep 2eren ce. 'e o 0e( E,,Pnc

'.:- Ge 0 have Deeon rLore direct". associa'ed with 7 'oear I2nstitu es

anct n. paa : en 0 .more nearly_ o0 the Europoan, thooTn,'Lh to somei

(o.07Lree1 -these co n un-iiec 10 ave developed cJi:TOerent and (o idelc .
Sount.- rn pr-rt of the nIllteo S1tatoe', Dom)01 los, close1nl; a o01c

to the mother coa0r10:0 1. o rT.l-a0ed o 1~a8 aite Glauinccly h0e0r

O 1.t, 3"G3il1l c' not 2128 on. a n 0 u1s3.10c DaSILS. The ,1niO..0) 0lUe

W x' 26l o1o o1 0 tl0e UJniteGe '.j 0es have been large, deveopeo.-

9 -E;., ,-: _.-:"'"..s :: -u'., the .east,. -'. various renons These western

S.o '.c ':- e nad t'o ctevelo-; a co: b :' _cioc ideal: iln pl)rotection against'

e savae protection agans drogh a in he rriation

; developngen o npo on, e. .T L'. r ,the 0r-

S ,: :.,-es t 1 7is 11 0o S, T-ISi 1 '.:,' soFie of the -new -0 or,.0

--- nt anCL on scientil or .1 'old. parta.::e 0 o. dl l e -; trom. occnrrinfc" !1in t -ne L.:.. A "ott 1rty ears .o..
*.hl. Icleal 1a0 0 e0XpO310Coi2 In the loun00iif: 01 thio al-TO T110 5i

and mechan c. i coaJ-ee o _es, and more r recently to other ines i:unebions

dreec3ly or i7nzdrec....l. co01nnected0' with t"her. The mo1'0 recent

e re1oion o0 tais ideal is 0ie o-i::.o S onion '.or: 0. Thi- 0 naso

been carried on largo7. zIn tne wes'q .. con.t'ral est -. ,onith,

buLt only .in a ver- limia.Lted v0ay i.n -t1e ea-st in tlhe 1Howv EnglandNy"l'c

States. .., 0avre now nad aDot a ten year period during l hIch

.thee 0actOviies have 0eon carried. o"0r7,card and it .20 well, hero-

lore, "'o ae a s(_. .:- '_ coareCui oor:.11' 111e ,.1--:ey to see what the

e0leo1s0 or Tl1hese dirLer:-. a1'-.:eenLces are.

Sonutwern Sta2ce0 Survey
A C011 o .7: Ao'u 1e s0 muveyo V/1S P[o: -"-2 _.2 :in- .l1r Odi:Le0on2 00eCOi0ns

0"or t1he "nitd1 '"h'o. iTh'e 0on0e in 11011 e are dlireoly intore',ced

s10 the roach uh]'b '- through the cenu'rai. r.;-.,si2sspl., 1 beginning:

aG _:.- .aln axnd etconc0n1.-u t; no!."rth cen111cra Alabja., through

Georg'la in a o ounensterly cirecuion, and cotvard" c In S-outh Georgia...

1his roa cL overod1 D0o tween s0 x and Geoven .u0md1.ed ie( and on t he

roa0 c oo00oen, i,UUJ larmerosA were i;.: eed., 0 oes 0a1r7err0 1ore

11GCaoln 11- 1and.o and not (0 12any 71eo2ai 1eoloction. As the road 71ac

o-C 00 1 t'1e Taos0T ices[10Die O a 0 110ad 'i o i!0 ,o r'l0il."17 11"u 04OLd 7ce00l
on;" a- e1.' nerOCTO 1rmoQ Were lo0and-.

o -1(9 uuiLroro v:oI '11 or I? '/ recoeve. bLl.u. eu2.ns.

-. L' .._. .oceiving Cic.L0ns 0b, 02or y. 1- road hi.em]. Of N1e

:'. 0or .no reac the iutlie uins 1:6 or 235. made practical apmllcation

of io in 'ora UIon receivaC. iroa th'e al 0e". ...'

Ins' liut0 es

Of thie LUUi ma3mers visiedcL 24- or .1 8- atendeid Farmors' insiti'uwes

a.llnCL o t1eG .h... .*.0' 8ar elI g 1111 F Iarrae s' iS'1l is it es "'. o1 01 t-hom pnut Into

practice C'o-ineti ir Learnied at "Ui.e Insx-nuimtes.

."-D:i.2ul )Gura! IT o .

O:f the luUi l9r9ors v ise-Od or .49's tooT arm ] 'ors. '

Demonstration Ar- ,;-.

Of 0 ie 1((1 Lrmers vioS'od ID. or T. or the "pers ons nad re-

c01iv70 i1nl-TCI 01i-8 IuOO o 1 -rin -ca 1ULYr011 oero. o entOS. 142 or z4:'

or ,Tues e plm2ac ce 800 co the rormnation gotten rron tiie domonsOsra-

*10 ti-n a et.

.' ' the 'tiaO3u c Co:10 .cO

as tar:m;.'5- i'armn pupors 'ucji.o C

irted by them. 148 recoiv ]

142 receiiv elirect .benefit .. D

.. 1- from warmer Iznstitute

In rev:-.,wi*i: i the su;..3 ags

t'o Unitede Stato tho ... '.: .' ,

that occurring in thoVl-2 .

1)Qenf3iit-ed '- the an'enc'._ es om11

-:/'. 0B 0 O e wozld, nave .564

-'-.ri.rj, : tl.,.u, and being bene-

benefit from billltins.

S'ta' ion '.s, ,".7

''.recL i oYusio2 p atKI- UoL

. .; ',1 vnTr:'7' different frora

optionon o-f the people

\orie .'at "; ?. In

Full Text
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