Extension Division, Florida Grower. 1914

Material Information

Extension Division, Florida Grower. 1914
Series Title:
Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
50. Extension Division, Florida Grower. 1914


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.


"Extension Service" written by P. H. Rolfs for the Florida Growers, December 5, 1914

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


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Extension Division

The Extension Division is afganised in the University of Florida
for carrying on agricultural work away from the campus of the Univer-
sity. There are a number.of different directions inlwhich the Ex-
Stension activities manifest themselves. The earliest line of work
was that of holding Parmers' Institutes.
During the past biennaium 374 Institutes have been held with a.
total attendance of 27,360 people. 886 lectures were delivered at
these Institutes, 652 of which were given Tby employees ofthe Uhi-
versity. These Parmers' Institites are held in the rural communities
n!ost easily accessible to, and the instruction given is
varied according to the region in- which the gatherings are held. For
instance, in the homestead region of De Soto County the program of the
Institute included the clearing of land ftom pine trees, methods of
breaking up the soil and reducing It to agricultural condition, how
to grow sweet potatoes, how to set out citrus trees, and other informa-
tion such as would be most needed by the new corner in an undeveloped
region. At the Farmers' Institute field at la3k:elad, on the other
hand, the lectures w re of a highly technical' nature. The Whitefly
control question was thoroughly discussed and the best methods of hand-
ling this pest considered at considerable length. The elements most
useful in the fertilizing of citrus trees were discussed from a tech-
nica) standpoint. In a number of farming sections such questions
as the curing of pork, the growing of winter legumes and thevbest method
of handling the oat field were discussed. From this it will be seen

that we must draw on a wide range for our Farmers' Institute lecturers.
No one set of men could possibly handle so wide a range of questions

in an expert way.
Manymmore Institutes are being called for than it is ;possible

to provide. This is owing largely to the rapid development aAd the

great interest being taken in better methods of handling our agricultur-

al industries, or, putting it another way, people are determined to

make a day's work count for more than it formerly did.

Cooperative Demonstration Work

Cooperative Demonstration Work is carried on in 33 different

Counties among the adult farmers. The regions in t ich these County

Demonstration Agents are located range from De Soto on the South to

Escambia on the West. The County Demonstration Agent is an expert in

his line, chosen especially for his adaptability for the particular

County in wnich he does his work. Necessarily the work and adaptabil-

ity of the County Demonstration Agents are qui.e., aq divergent as those

Of the Farmers' Institute squad.

Professor C. K. McQuarrle is the State Agent in charge of the

County Demonstration Agents, this work being done dooperatively be-

tween the Department of Agricultureaii the Tbiversity of Florida.

Professor' Mquarrie came to the State something over 28 years ago and

settled in West Florida during the period when the ,each growing boom

was at its height. He passed through this period and later developed

into general far, ng. On this small farm in Walton County he raised

five children, giving each a college education, but having nothing to

start with but the good health of himself and hiw wife. IDring the

twenty years of his work in West Florida Professor Mcquarrie proved that

it was not only possible to maintain a small general farm, but also to

make money in this way, as is shown by the fact that he gave all his

children a,college education. Wnen they all left home he found the

work more strenuous than was necessary for maintenance, and the tUni

Varsity of Florida needed a man who could tell the fanners of the State

how tis' was done, so Professor McQuarrie graduated from the school of
hard actual experience on the farm and is in a position to tell

actually how it was ddne. Four years ago he accepted a position
with the University of Florida as lecturer to the Farmers' Institutes.

One year since that time he has been County Demonstration Agent for

Eacabbia County, but since a year ago he has been State Agent for the

County Demonstration Work, having charge of El] of the County Agents.

Professor A. P. Spenrer is a graduate of the Virginia Agricul-

tural College, in which State he received his agricultural training.

He graduated about eight years ago. During about four years he had
actual experience in the Rxperiment Station in Virginia. Three years

ago h same to Florida and took up the work with Farmers' Institutes

at first, and a year ago as District Agent for the Cooperative Demon-

stration Work, taking charge of pEntra3 and South Florida. So this

OGerman* as referred to in a previ us article by the Stroller turns

out to have been born in America and having English parents, more
correctly of Scotch extraction.

Professor E. S. Pace, District Agent for North and West Florida,

is a graduate of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute about four years

ago. One year since graduation he has been County Demonstration Agent
for A3abama, and for nearly a year has been District Agent for Florida.

In his rounds Professor Pace visits every County Demonstration Agent in

Northern Florida. As there are eighteen agents under his change it

takes him'hearly six weeks 0o make the round of a33 his Counties.

The special office of the District Agent is r.o see to it that the

County Demonstration Agents have a correct understanding of the details

of their particular project, that they teach the demonstrators cor-

rectly, and that the weekly reports of the CountyiAgents are accurate.

The County Demonstration Agent is an agricultural missionary.

He takes the :latest and most important information obtained by the Ex-

periment Station and the latest and best methods of teaching developed

by the Agricultural College, directly to the farmers' homes. There are

two grades of farmers with which the County Demonstration Agent works.

The first grade is called the Demonstratie. In his field the demonstra-

tion is carried forward. The Demonstrator is a man who probably has

little or no confidence in the latest metihoJs of agriculture. The

County Demonstration Agent approaches such a man and diplomatically tells

him that by changing his methods he can get more dollars returned for

the day's work employed. Naturally the Demonstrator doubts the sound-

ness of the County Agent's statement. This kind of demonstrator is the

most desirable type. If the County iDemonstration Agent can find a

farmer who simply takes no stack whatever In the newer agriculture

he is one of the subjects that has been looked for.. The County Demon-

stration Agent then makes arrangements with the Demonstrator to set

aside frm one to four acres of his corn field, cotton field, truck'

field, or what not, to be treated according to the instructions of the

County Agent, the remainder of the same field to be treated' n the old

manner. At the end of the cropping season the demonstration portion

of the field is harvested separately, and the advantage or disadvantage

noted. Naturally this is the best kind of proof to the average farmer

that the methods le employed have not given him as many dollars for the

amount of Mabor expended as the Improved methods. Taking the corn
crop as an illustration, the average yjild of trie demonstration
plots last year was 28 bushels per acre; the average yield for the
State was only 15 bushels. This shows pretty conclusively that If
the corn of tne State was grown according to the directions of the
Demonstration Agents the yield would be nearly doubled.
Farm crops, however, are not the only work of the Demonstra-
tion Agent. In De Soto County, for instance, the Demonstration
Agent is showing his demonstrators how toot-rot In citrus trees can be
.most successfully handled. In another County the Demonstration Ag-nt

Is a specialist in strawberry growing and shows his demonstrators how
t. grow strawberries.
Another set of farmers are known as cooperators. These are
also Visited by the Co mapat~menstration Agents These are fari..ers
who have so much confidence in thle advice received from the Demonstra-
tion Agentjthat they wish toeeraploy te most approved methods for
their entire crop In other wates, they have already been shown
and want to adopt the advice on all of the fields.
The County Demonstration Aents have on their list a number of
farmers ranging from 50 to nearly 200 who are either demonstrators Of
cooperators. The demonstrators .are visited regularly and at stated
times. The cooperators are visited at Scch times as it is possible to
do so without neglecting the demonstrators. This yeir the total number
of cooperators and demonstrators on the list was 3922, or an average
of 138 to the County Agent. In the sparsely settled Counties it is
i:.possib3e for a County Agent to visit so many farms as this during
his rounds. In the more thickly populated Counties it is possible for

the county Agent to have nearly 200 men on his list'.

In addition to takB g care of the agents' work as outlined

above, during the present year bur CountyAgents gave special attention

to the treating of hogs with anti-chol" 4 virus. As high as 3000

hogs have been treated by. the Agent in a single county, and the
p \ .'
total number treated mounts up to many thousands. If no other work had

been done during the past six months by the County Agents than that of

treating hogs with the serum, the amount of money saved to the farmers

would have been much more than the cost of maintaining the Agents.

This is only one of the by-rroducts that comes with this organized

work in disseminating better farming knowledge.

I '

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