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Department of Agricultural Education records

Identifier: uarc 31

Scope and Content

The Department of Agricultural Education consists primarily of professional correspondence generated by three department heads—A.V. Storm (1912-1934), A.M. Field (1934-1948), and Milo Peterson (1948-1970), as well course materials, meeting minutes, conference reports, publications, research reports, studies and talks, photographs and glass slide sets. Inclusive dates for the collection are 1907 to 1991; bulk dates are 1920 to 1959.

The collection is arranged in nine series:

  1. Series 1, Correspondence, Notes and Writings, is divided into four sub-series; Departmental correspondence, A.M. Field, Milo J. Peterson, and A.V. Storm. The departmental subseries consists of correspondence to and from the department faculty and departmental offices during the late 1940s and 1950s. In the other three subseries, the correspondence is composed and signed by the department heads. The Storm and Field subseries contain a substantial amount of inquiries by school officials from Minnesota, Iowa and other states for teacher candidates, candidate requests for positions, and the department requesting information from school districts about open positions. There are also small amounts of lecture note and writings kept with the correspondence in the three department head sub-series.
  2. Series 2, Course Materials, contains course outlines and descriptions, lecture notes and drafts, course guides and information, exams and teacher’s manuals. Materials cover both day school and short courses, and include vocational education courses for prospective high school teachers and college level courses.
  3. Series 3, Meetings and Conferences, contains programs, addresses and notes from regional and state conferences and meetings on vocational education and national conferences, including topics such as rural education, application of the Smith-Hughes Act in high school curriculum, improving administration procedures to improve instruction, and teaching conservation.
  4. Series 4, Minutes, includes meeting minutes from the College of Education and College of Agriculture Curriculum and Executive committees, as well as College of Agriculture committees for School of Agriculture, summer school courses, standards, faculty meetings and extension.
  5. Series 5, Publications, contains articles, studies, clippings, manuals, workbooks, handbooks, newspapers and newsletters from the Department of Agricultural Education. These materials generally fall into two subject categories: information about teacher training and student learning, and technically-oriented materials concerning subjects such as machine repair, small business administration and data entry from the 1970s and 1980s. There is also a substantial run of The Visitor, a newspaper devoted to agricultural education in public high schools in Minnesota published by the department.
  6. Series 6, Reports and Studies, includes reports from department faculty, education committees at the department, college and state levels, and the US Department of Vocational Education. Most of the series dates from the 1920s to the late 1940s.
  7. Series 7, Subject Files, contains materials on a range of subjects arranged alphabetically. The series also contains the papers and notebooks of W.P. Dyer, a member of the Department of Agricultural Education from 1918 to 1926.
  8. Series 8, Talks and Presentations, contains the texts of speeches and transcripts of radio broadcasts given by members of the department . Most are dated between 1915 and the mid 1940s.
  9. Series 9. Glass Slide Curriculum Sets, contains glass slides and negatives offering instruction in several topical areas, including animal and plant husbandry, plant identification, commodification of agricultural products and planting and harvesting methods around the world. The slide sets were not produced at the University of Minnesota, but were purchased by the Agricultural Education department for use in classes and with working farmers attending Farm and Home Week courses.


  • Creation: 1907-1991
  • Creation: Majority of material found within ( 1920-1959)


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

“In accordance with the action of the Legislature requiring the establishment, in the University, of a College of Education, the Board of Regents at a meeting held December 12th, 1906, voted to establish such a college,” noted the 1905-1906 Biennial Report of the Board of Regents. That same year, the University’s General Catalogue included a section on Agriculture under the new College of Education’s Courses of Instruction. The courses were planned to “meet the increasing demand for a knowledge of the elements, at least, of agriculture on the part of graded school principals, rural school teachers, county superintendents of schools and others concerned with education in the agricultural sections of the state.”

D. D. Mayne, Principal of the School of Agriculture, lead the instruction for the Agriculture courses within the College of Education.

The Educational Policies section of the 1911-1912 President’s Report noted, “The widespread introduction of vocational education has suddenly created a demand for teachers of manual training, domestic science, and agriculture.” To that end, the Board of Regents established a department of Agricultural Education in the College of Agriculture that would work in cooperation with the College of Education.

The 1911-1912 President’s Report also announced the appointment of Ashley V. Storm as Chief of Agricultural Education, who was described as “one of the recognized leaders of agricultural education” who would provide guidance for “a four years' college course designed to train teachers of agriculture and allied subjects” which would be “fulfilling a duty and insuring to the State a permanent leadership in the newer type of education.”

At their June 7, 1916, meeting, the University Board of Regents voted “to approve the…formulation of principles of organization for the unification of teacher training in the University” which included, among other principles, that the “College of Education is the University organ upon which responsibility for teacher training is placed.”

Agricultural Education continued for several decades as an academic unit of the College of Education, administered jointly with the College of Agriculture. In the 1950s, an expanded focus emerged for how a degree in Agricultural Education could be used. The 1958 College of Education Catalogue noted that the curriculum was designed for students who plan to teach agriculture in public high schools and “adapted to the needs of agricultural extension workers and others preparing to farm or to work in rural areas…and provides comprehensive training in technical agriculture and permits emphasis upon such fields as dairying, agronomy, agricultural economics, horticulture, animal husbandry, soils, and mechanized farming.”

Agricultural Education experienced the following department name and administrative unit reporting changes:

  1. Agricultural Education within the Department of Vocational and Technical Education in the College of Education; 1975 to 1993
  2. Agricultural Education and Extension within the Department of Vocational and Technical Education in the College of Education; 1993 to 1998
  3. Agricultural, Food and Environmental Education within the Department of Work, Community and Family Education in the College of Education and Human Development and affiliated with the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences; 1998 to 2006
  4. Agricultural, Food and Environmental Education within the Department of Work and Human Resource Education in the College of Education and Human Development and affiliated with the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; 2006 to 2009
  5. In July 2009, Agricultural Education became an academic department of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, as a unit of the Division of Applied Economics and Agricultural Education.

Heads of Agricultural Education:

  1. Dexter D. Mayne, 1905-1912
  2. Ashley V. Storm, 1912-1934
  3. Albert M. Field, 1934-1948
  4. Milo Peterson, 1948-1970
  5. R. Paul Marvin, 1970-1984
  6. Edgar Persons, 1984-1996
  7. Roland Peterson, 1997-2005


28.75 Cubic Feet (38)


The Department of Agricultural Education records consists primarily of professional correspondence, as well course materials, meeting minutes, conference reports, publications, research reports and studies and talks.

Source of acquisition

The majority of the collection was transferred to University Archives from 1950-1961.

Processing Information

This collection was processed with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Department of Agricultural Education Records, 1907-1991
Karen Spilman
August 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area