Extension Service Records (RG 111)
1903-2002 (inclusive) 1911-1995 (bulk)
96 cubic feet and 218 reels of microfilm.


Oregon Agricultural College Extension Service Demonstration Car announcement, 1915. During its first few decades, the OAC Extension Service often utilized appropriately equipped railroad cars to provide demonstrations to Oregonians on a variety of topics. The Fruit and Vegetable Canning Demonstration Car, operated in conjunction with the Southern Pacific railroad, included five different home-canning outfits, various types of canning containers, soldering facilities, and illustrative charts.

Fred L. Griffin of the Extension Service staff conducted the lectures and demonstrations. This car visited 25 communities in western Oregon over a twelve day period in July 1915. [OSU Archives MC-Extension Service.]



Scope and Content Note

The Extension Service Records pertain to the administration and programmatic activities of the Oregon State University Extension Service. The records document policies and procedures, research activities, special events, and services provided to Oregonians at the state and county levels. They also document the service's relationship with the federal government and extension services in other states.

The records are organized into six subgroups: Reports, Director's Office, Home Economics Extension, 4-H & Youth Program, Extension Council, and Records from Counties. Most of Subgroup 1 (Reports) and all of Subgroups 3 (Home Economics Extension) and 5 (Extension Council) are on microfilm. Most series/subseries are arranged chronologically. (See subgroup and series outline.)

Subgroup 1, Reports, includes seven series: I. Extension Specialists' Reports; II. County Annual Reports; III. Special Reports & Statistical Reports of 4-H; IV. State Club Leader Annual Reports; V. State Club Leader Quarterly Report; VI. Special Project Reports; and VII. Wartime Extension Work. Series I consists of annual reports from extension agents assigned to specific programmatic areas and date from 1911 to 1973. Series II includes annual reports from county extension offices in Oregon from 1914 to 1998. Very few county annual reports were generated after 1980. The remaining series are reports of 4-H actvities or of special projects and programs.

Because of the manner in which some of the records were microfilmed, titles for series I through III differ in Subgroup 2 (Director's Office) between the microfilmed records and those in paper format. The microfilm records in Subgroup 2 comprise three series. Series I includes correspondence pertaining to teaching administrative matters, events and projects from 1958 to 1968. Series II consists of extension agents' field reports from 1966-67. Series III. is the History of the Cooperative Extension Service in Oregon, 1911-1961, by Frank L. Ballard.

The paper records component of Subgroup 2 consists of twenty series: I. Administration; II. Associations, Agencies & Organizations; III. Counties; IV. Economic Opportunity; V. Events & Activities; VI. Finance; VII. Higher Education Act; VIII. Housing; IX. Program Determination and Development; X. Projects, Extension Specialists; XI. Public Relations; XII. Publications; XIII. Reports & Statistics; XIV. Reports, Publications & Bulletins; XV. Teaching & Training; XVI. Theses, Dissertations & Class Papers; XVII. Plans and Drawings; XVIII. Oversize Materials; XIX. Commission on the OSU Extension Service; and XX. Programs.

Series I pertains to the general administration of the Extension Service in Oregon, including administrative policies and procedures, civil rights compliance, history of the Extension Service, and personnel issues. The records date from 1911-2002. Series II documents the Extension Service's relationship with local, state and federal agencies and other organizations between 1903 and 1997, particularly the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Series III documents the relationship between county extension offices and the extension administration at Oregon State. Series IV includes records of economic development related programs from the 1960s and 1970s. Series V documents special events and activities, such as annual staff conferences and Urban-Rural Conferences. Series VI documents the funding and budgeting of the Extension Service at both the state and federal levels. Series VII documents the impact of federal higher education legislation on the Extension Service. Series VIII pertains to office space in county offices and on campus. Series IX documents the development of various Extension Service programs, including the county economic conferences held every decade from the 1920s to the 1970s. The series also contains records pertaining to the Extension Service's long-range planning efforts. Series X includes records of projects participated in by extension agents between 1914 and 1988. Particularly well documented are projects pertaining to marketing and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Series XI includes records pertaining to promotion of the Extension Service and agreements with other entities such as the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Series XII includes records pertaining to publications of the Extension Service and the U.S.D.A., and speeches and articles by extension administrators and other OSU faculty. Series XIII and XIV include recurring and routine reports, project plans of work and reports, annual and biennial reports for the Extension Service, and special reports. Series XV documents the professional development of extension service personnel as well as short course offered in the 1960s and 1970s. Series XVI contains theses and dissertations completed by extension agents as part of their graduate training while employed by the Extension Service. Series XVII contains farmhouse plans from the 1930s throught 1950s and plans and drawings pertaining to county and administative office space. Series XVIII includes oversize materials from other series, such as maps, posters, and scrapbooks. Series XIX contains correspondence, meeting minutes, reports and general information of a commission created in 1975 by the Oregon Legislature and the State Board of Higher Education to evaluate the OSU Extension Service. Series XX contains files of major programs from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s.

Subgroup 3, Home Economics Extension (microfilm only), includes two series: county demonstration agent reports and state leader annual reports, written between 1915 and 1969.

Subgroup 4, 4-H & Youth Program , contains seven series: I. Administration; II. Program Development; III. Associations, Agencies and Organizations; IV. Events and Activities; V. Awards; VI. Reports; and VII. Sound Recordings. Series I contains materials pertaining to the history of 4-H in Oregon, policies, committees and task forces, and the Oregon 4-H Foundation. Series II consists of plans of work and program reviews. Series III contains records of 4-H related organizations, such as the Oregon 4-H Leaders Association and Mu Beta Beta (4-H honorary society). Series IV documents 4-H events and activities, such as the national 4-H congresses and conferences, the International Farm Youth Exchange Program, and the 4-H summer school. Series V consists of records of 4-H awards and scholarship winners on the national and state levels. Series VI contains annual, statistical, enrollment and special reports. Series VII contains recordings of muscial performances given by 4-H members and discussions on various topics by 4-H members and leaders.

Subgroup 5, Extension Council (microfilm only) contains records of a board consisting of Dean of the School of Agriculture, the Director of Extension, and 24 others who were either School of Agriculture department heads or Extension staff. This board at one time set policy for Extension work in Oregon. These records were originally a separate record group.

Subgroup 6, Records from Counties, consists of county level programs and activities. Currently this subgroup consists of one series -- records transferred from the Lane County Extension office in 1998 due to smoke damage. They span 1940 to 1991 and consist of an annual report, 75th anniversary of Extension materials, newspaper clippings, special events records, newletters, and scrapbooks.

New Accession, 2005

New Accession, 2006

New Accessions, 2007

New Accessions, 2008


Historical Note

On July 24, 1911, Oregon Agricultural College's Board of Regents organized the Oregon Extension Service in response to requests from citizens of Oregon for assistance (particularly in agriculture) from the college. R.D. Hetzel, professor of political science, was named as the first director of the Extension Service. The first county extension agents began in Marion and Wallowa Counties in September of 1912. Legislation permitting counties to appropriate money for extension work that would be matched by state funds was enacted in 1913.

In May of 1914, nearly three years after Oregon had established its Extension Service, President Woodrow Wilson signed the federal Smith-Lever law, which provided federal money for the establishment of extension services in all states for developing off-campus programs, primarily in agriculture and home economics. The first home extension agents were hired in August 1917 to do wartime emergency work; several of the agents were retained by counties after World War I. By 1937, all counties had at least one county extension agent.

During the Extension Service's first forty years, it concentrated on three traditional programmatic areas -- agriculture, home economics, and 4-H. After World War II, four other program areas were added -- forestry (late 1940s), the Marine Advisory Program (late 1940s and greatly expanded in the 1960s), Community Resource Development (1960s), and the Energy Extension Service (1970s).

Traditionally, the Extension Service Director reported to (or was) the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. In 1993, as part of a university-wide reorganization, the OSU Extension Service was made part of the Office of Extended Education under the university's Provost. As of 2004, the Extension Service is a separate unit whose director reports to the Provost.

For an in-depth history of Oregon's Extension Service's first fifty years, see Frank L. Ballard's "The Oregon State University Federal Cooperative Extension Service, 1911-1961," located in this record group and in the Memorabilia Collection's Extension Service-History file.


Related Materials

Other record groups pertaining to the Extension Service include the Agricultural Experiment Station Records (RG 25); Extension and Experiment Station Communications Records (RG 69); Forestry Extension Records (RG 103); and the College of Agricultural Sciences Records (RG 158). Record groups of many academic departments, especially those in the College of Agricultural Sciences, also contain Extension Service records.

Photographic collections that include Extension Service related images are the Extension Bulletin Illustrations Photograph Collection (P 20); Extension Service Photograph Collection (P 62); Gwil Evans Photograph Collection (P 82); E. R. Jackman Photograph Collection (P 89); Home Economics Extension Photograph Collection (P 115); Agricultural Communications Photograph Collection (P 120); Arthur S. King Photograph Collection (P 131); and the 4-H Photograph Collection (P 146). Several Harriet's Collection files include Extension Service images, particularly #969-975.

Several manuscripts collections are associated with the Extension Service. Personal papers of extension agents and specialists include the James F. Bishop Papers; Helen Cowgill Papers; Edwin Russell Jackman Papers; Arthur S. King Papers; Buena Maris Mockmore Papers; Wallace L. Kadderly Papers Kenneth C. Minnick Papers; Bill Rogers Papers; Janet Taylor Papers; J. D. Vertrees Papers; Marvin Shearer Papers; and Esther Taskerud Papers.

Records of extension related organizations include the Malheur County 4-H Leaders' Council Records; the Clackamas County Jersey Cattle Club Scrapbooks; the Multnomah County Home Economics Extension Units Collection; the Oregon State University Extentsion Association Records; the Oregon State University Extension Association (OSUEA)/4-H Records; the Oregon State University Collegiate 4-H Club Records; and the OSU Steak and Chop Club Records.

Several publications groups (PUBS) and Memorabilia Collection (MC) files pertain to the Extension Service.


Container Note

The Extension Service records are housed in 93 cubic foot boxes, 1 document case, 5 oversize boxes, 1 oversize drawer, and 218 reels of microfilm.

Subgroup and Series Outline


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