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Extension Service Records, 1903-2011

Collection Overview

Title: Extension Service Records, 1903-2011

Predominant Dates: 1911-1995

ID: RG 111

Primary Creator: Oregon State University. Extension Service

Extent: 137.0 cubic feet. More info below.


The records are organized into six subgroups: 1. Reports, 2. Director's Office, 3. Home Economics Extension, 4. 4-H & Youth Program, 5. Extension Council, and 6. 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.

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.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


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.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital. Items related to the Willamette Valley in Series 4, Box 30, described in the preliminary container list to the left of this finding aid, are available upon request. Folders from Box 11 relating to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Box 72 relating to pesticides, Box 79 relating to the Oregon's Changing Agriculture series, and Box 67 relating to farm labor are also available.

Scope and Content Notes

Subgroup 1, 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 activities 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.

In Subgroup 2, 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 through the 1950s and plans and drawings pertaining to county and administrative 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 musical 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.

Accession 2008:026 consists of personal history forms completed for employees of the Extension Service that document information dating from 1915 to 1957. In addition to name and job title, these files include data such as educational history, religious affiliation, experience on a farm, birthplace, marriage status, retirement account number, and reasons for resignation/departure from the position.

Accession 2008:033 is made up of Pacific Northwest Insect, Weed, and Plant Disease Control Handbooks compiled by Extension faculty at Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho.

Accession 2008:036 includes audio visual presentations made up of photographic slides, cassette tape audio recordings, scripts, and handbooks that were used by county Extension agents as educational tools. Mostly created by 4-H and the OSU Extension Service, these presentations were also generated by other universities, regional organizations like the Oregon Veterinary Association, and industry associations such as the American Hereford Association. The presentations address a range of topics that include: animal judging and showmanship, horse care, photography, livestock management, bike maintenance, leadership development, computer use, woodworking, cultivation of vegetables/flowers, animal body structures, and international exchange programs. Some of the presentations document highlights from annual national 4-H conferences and most of those on leadership training were recorded directly from professional development seminars at the meetings. The 448 presentations contain about 9000 slides in total and around 300 cassette tapes. Not all of the presentations have images or sound recordings. Also included in this transfer are newsletters, staff meeting minutes, program planning records, and work plan reports from the 4-H Youth Development Office.

Accession 2009:036 consists of materials generated and collected by Extension Service staff at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Primarily made up of annual reports documenting Warm Springs Reservation Extension activities, this transfer also includes a comprehensive plan, contracts, cooperative agreements, an exhibit panel, a guestbook, newspaper clippings, photographs, research reports, and a student thesis. Among the agreements and contracts is a memorandum of understanding between the Warm Springs tribes and OSU signed in 1991. The research detailed in the reports pertains to water resources and education. Other than group shots of the Warm Springs Extension staff, the 6 photographic prints depict tribal youth researching cattle.The thesis, authored by OSU Forest Science student Dawn Anzinger, is entitled: "Big Huckleberry Ecology and Forest Succession in the Mount Hood National Forest and Warm Springs Reservation." The exhibit panel contains a caption for the "Warm Springs Stockman" publication and two attached Extension circulars.

Accession 2009:073 is made up of architectural plans and drawings for various agricultural structures that were compiled and bound into a ledger by the Extension Service as a part of an "Oregon State Building and Equipment Plan Service." Generated mostly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the OSU Department of Agricultural Engineering, the 67 plans featured in this ledger include specifications for the construction of the following structures: dairy barns, smoke houses, nut driers, grain elevators, rural community halls, potato houses, hay sheds, and sheep dipping vats.

Accession 2011:095 consists of two surveys conducted by the Extension Service in 2004 and 2011 that collected information about Extension Service staff. In the surveys, respondents describe their work with Extension Service as well as their activities after retirement. The 2004 project is entitled "Re-capturing our History Retiree and Active Worker Survey" and includes articles and earlier writings by the respondents in addition to the completed surveys. For the 2011 project, a booklet compiling the completed surveys was published and presented to attendees of an Extension retiree luncheon organized as a part of a series of events honoring the centennial of the Extension Service.

Accession 2012:013 consists of materials generated by the Energy Program of the OSU Extension Service and is made up of films, photographs, publications, reports, and videotapes. The bulk of this transfer is comprised of films and videotapes (124 VHS, 26 U-Matic tapes, 33 magnetic tape reels, and 14 film reels) produced or recorded by the Energy Program. Some of these video productions were made in conjunction with the Bonneville Power Administration as a part of the "Super Good Cents" program. Primarily documenting conservation topics such as the installation of insulation, solar water heating, heat pumps, energy efficient home construction, and calculation of design heat load, a few of these tapes are recordings of workshops/conferences such as the Northwest Industrial Energy Forum. Numbering 4591 images in total (1891 slides, 1500 negatives, 1200 prints) the photographs depict workshops conducted by the Energy Program, studies of insulation and ductwork inside newly constructed manufactured homes, the Tera One Energy Conservation Laboratory, presentations on solar heating of homes, and the use of thermal imaging to detect air leakage.

Accession 2014:031 consists of materials generated and collected by the Extension Service and is made up of correspondence, flyers, newsletters, meeting minutes, notes, policies/procedures, reports, and a VHS videotape. Most of these records were found in notebooks assembled as a part of administrative reviews, strategic planning projects, and a handbook of policies for reference use. The documentation of reviews relate to a university-wide accreditation in 2000, a review of the Extension Sea Grant Program, and one for the Office of Personnel and Organization Development. The videotape, "The State is Our Campus," is a part of the notebook compiled for the accreditation review.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital. Items related to the Willamette Valley in Series 4, Box 30, described in the preliminary container list to the left of this finding aid, are available upon request.  Folders from Box 11 relating to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Box 72 relating to pesticides, Box 79 relating to the Oregon's Changing Agriculture series, and Box 67 relating to farm labor are also available.

Biographical / Historical Notes

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.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 133 cubic foot boxes, 1 document case, 7 oversize boxes, five film cans and 1 oversize drawer.; 218 microfilm reels

Related Materials:

Other record groups pertaining to the Extension Service include the Agricultural Experiment Station Records (RG 025); 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 020); Extension Service Photographs (P 062); Gwil Evans Photograph Collection (P 082); Edwin Russell Jackman Photographic Collection (P 089); Home Economics Extension Photographs (P 115); Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photograph Collection (P 120); Arthur Solomon King Photographs (P 131); and the 4-H Photograph Collection (P 146). Several Harriet's Photograph Collection (P HC) 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 (MSS Bishop); Helen Cowgill Papers (MSS Cowgill); Edwin Russell Jackman Papers (MSS Jackman); Arthur S. King Papers (MSS King); Buena Maris Mockmore Papers (MSS Mockmore); Wallace L. Kadderly Papers (MSS Kadderly); Kenneth C. Minnick Papers (MSS Minnick); Bill R. Rogers Papers (MSS Rogers); Janet Taylor Papers (MSS TaylorJ); J. D. Vertrees Papers (MSS Vertrees); Marvin N. Shearer Papers (MSS Shearer); and the Esther Taskerud Papers (MSS Taskerud).

Records of extension related organizations include the Malheur County 4-H Leaders' Council Records (MSS Malheur); the Clackamas County Jersey Cattle Club Scrapbook (MSS ClackamasCattle); the Multnomah County Extension Home Economics Units Collection (MSS MultnomahHomeEc); the OSU Extension Association Records (MSS OSUEA); the Oregon State University Extension Association/4-H Records (MSS OSUEA4H); the Oregon State University Collegiate 4-H Club Records (MSS 4HClub); and the OSU Steak and Chop Club Records (MSS Steak).

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

See also: Digital Resources: History of OSU Extension, a comprehensive collection of online resources documenting the 100+ year history of Extension at Oregon State University.

Preferred Citation: Extension Service Records (RG 111), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Oregon State University. Extension Service
Ballard, Frank L. (Frank Llewellyn) (1891-1971)
Teutsch, William L.

People, Places, and Topics

4-H clubs--Oregon.
Agricultural extension work--Oregon.
Home economics extension work--Oregon.
Hops and Brewing
Local History
National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges
Natural Resources
Oregon Agricultural College. Extension Service
Oregon Multicultural Archives
Oregon State Agricultural College. Extension Service
Oregon State College. Federal Cooperative Extension Service
Oregon State University. Extension Service
Rural development--Oregon.
Rural extension--Oregon.
Soil conservation--Oregon.
United States. Agency for International Development
University History

Forms of Material

Architectural drawings (visual works)
Born digital.
Maps (documents)
Sound recordings.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.