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St. Louis County Extension Service reports

Identifier: S6065

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of annual reports by the county extension agents for agriculture (1915-1982), home economics (1918-1982), 4-H (1920 and 1925-1982), St. Louis County Club and Farm Bureau Association (1922-1956), forestry, and horticulture. The reports may include photographs, correspondence, financial materials, lists of area farmers and their crops, programs and activities, and maps. Also included are cattle testing reports for Bangs (brucellosis) disease and tuberculosis (1929-1967, gaps), 4-H club minutes (1937-1953, gaps), 4-H correspondence, Home Council minutes (1953-1981, with gaps), Homemakers Clubs' lists (1964-1981), programs of work, and pamphlets. There is one folder of tornado reports and letters (1969), and Farmers' Club Achievement letters (1924). The county annual reports reflect a division of St. Louis County into north, south, and west geographical areas.

The collection is in fair to good condition. There are several duplicates of documents because original photographs are included in some copies. The annual reports of the St. Louis County Extension Service are split into three general groups, agricultural, home economics, and 4-H Club, and also North, South, and West. Homemakers club and 4-H club documents explain how each club worked and who was involved.

The ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS OF AGRICULTURE (1915-1982) is the most complete set of records. They hold accounts on agriculture from the past including who farmed and what was planted or raised. Many of the photographs will be found in this part of the collection.

The ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS OF HOME ECONOMICS (1918-1982) provide general information on what activities the women were involved in at the time. There are urban and rural reports within the collection.

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS OF THE 4-H CLUB are fewer than agriculture or home economics but include what the club members were working on at the time.

FORESTRY AND HORTICULTURE REPORTS are part of the all-inclusive reports. These reports do not appear until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

A sequence of the ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY CLUB AND FARM BUREAU ASSOCIATION (1922-1956) provide information similar to the St. Louis County Extension Service Reports, but are compiled into booklets and are easy to navigate. Booklet topics range from directors and presidents to fishing and nutrition.

CATTLE TESTING REPORTS FOR BANGS (BRUCELLOSIS) DISEASE AND TUBERCULOSIS (1929-1967) are infrequent but reflect a problem farmers were dealing with, testing information includes the number of tests administered and reaccredidation of some herds. There is also information on veterinarians and whose herds were being tested.

Program information, membership and minutes make up HOMEMAKERS CLUB records. Included is the Homemakers Creed, regulations, guidelines and structure of the clubs. Correspondence to the club members gives background on what trips the members were taking and who participated. The program topics range from nutrition and weight to making clothing or fixing structures within your home. Program planning was decided by member's votes. Some votes are included.

Minutes, camp reviews and an assortment of documents pertaining to the 4-H CLUB's hiring, recreation history, and celebration of the 30th anniversary are compiled into several folders. There are two documents on the Minnesota State Fair, the Virginia Achievements and a list of children's Demonstrations. There are several photographs of the Auto club's excursion.

The 1924 FARM CLUB LETTERS describe achievements of farmers and indicate existence of clubs in specific communities: Lynnwood, Lakeland, Mesaba Valley, Spudville, Willow Valley, and Zim.

The MISCELLANEOUS documents include a booklet of the Agriculture Experiment station over fifty years, part of the North Central Quarterly, A history of the development of the St. Louis County Recreation Program, and two Reports of the Northeast Demonstration Farm and Experiment Station (1920-1921)


  • 1915-1975


Biographical / Historical

St. Louis County Extension Service is an educational agency of State land-grant colleges and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. It is a unique educational system operating in every State and county formed to provide information on agricultural and home economics subjects and to teach people how to use this information. Extension Agents serve as the teachers and have three general areas of work within the Extension Service: agriculture, home economics, and 4-H.

The Extension Service was established in 1914 by the Federal Smith-Lever Act. For the most part, it is financed cooperatively by the federal (40%), state (35%), and county (25%) governments, thus the name Cooperative Extension Service. The St. Louis County Extension Service is an educational agency of State land-grant colleges and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is a unique educational system operating in every State and county whose purpose is to provide information on agricultural and home economics subjects and to teach people how to make use of this information. More than twelve and a half million families learn better farming and homemaking methods each year without going to school.

The Administrator of the Federal Extension Service is in charge of the extension program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State Extension directors are in charge of the State programs. The State Extension director is appointed by the State land-grand college or university supervisory board with the approval of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The State director then coordinates with local officials the employment and supervision of the county extension agents. Cooperative Extension Service has a nation-wide professional staff of more than 14,000 workers to carry on its educational work. Approximately 11,000 of these are county agricultural, home demonstration, and 4-H Club agents. Minnesota's State director is located in the Institute of Agriculture, University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

Extension Agents serve as the teachers and have three general areas of work within the Extension Service including agriculture, home economics, and 4-H. County agricultural agents generally work with farmers and farm boys; home demonstration agents work with farm women and girls; and (in some states) special 4-H Club agents work with boys and girls who are member of 4-H Clubs. Urban agents are located in some cities. County extension agents are usually located in the courthouse or Federal building at the county seat.

The agents are joint employees of their State agricultural colleges and the Department of Agriculture. The Extension service traditionally worked with rural Americans or more specifically farm people, but over time started to assist non-farm people who lived in small towns or cities. One of the key principles of extension educational work is teaching by demonstration. Extension workers felt that most people preferred to learn the value of a new way of doing something by actually trying it. Hence, agents relied heavily on demonstrations carried out by farm men and women and boys and girls for teaching new agricultural and home economics techniques to their neighbors. Likewise, 4-H boys and girls learn new skills by actually enrolling in a project of their choice and doing things required for the completion of the project.

Agricultural Extension educational programs deal with all aspects of producing, marketing, processing, utilizing, and consuming agricultural products. Agents and specialists have information on general farm subjects such as crops and soils, dairy, poultry and animal husbandry, forestry, farm machinery and buildings, marketing, and soil conservation. They can also provide information on lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants.

The homemaking phase of extension work brings families the latest research and information to help them achieve better living. Agents encourage women to use the time, energy, money, and abilities of the family to achieve the goals the family considers important. The County Extension Home Council served as an advisory body to the County Extension Service in the program development process for organized Extension Homemaker Study Groups. Its specific functions included counseling with agents to assist with organization, planning and carrying out educational activities, and communications. Extension workers offer advice on how to: Prepare good, nutritious meals at low costs; create a good home environment, select and buy clothes for the family; make the home more convenient, attractive, and comfortable; and make housekeeping easier.

The goal of Extension’s 4-H program is to develop the County’s most priceless resource – youth. Extension helps boys and girls prepare for successful living in a changing world. Club activities stress development of leadership, responsibility, cooperation, self-confidence, and quality workmanship. In addition to projects that teach better ways of homemaking and farming, 4-H provides young people the opportunity to explore careers in work closely related to agriculture and home economics. To meet the needs of young people not interested in farming, many new projects have been added or enlarged including: automotive care, operation, and safety; landscaping and horticulture; buymanship and consumer education; and care of light horses and pets.


7.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society, but is housed at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives.
Guide to the St. Louis County Extension Service reports
Finding Aid Authors: D. DeSemt, P. Maus.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526