The University of California Cooperative Extension Records for Merced County span the years
of 1916-2000. Records include reports and information on irrigation districts, fire
protection districts, infrastructure improvement, economic outlook, migrant workers, rodent
eradication, WWI and WWII home front activities, Great Depression impact and relief
programs, land management, rural development, and correspondence. A large portion of the
records are related to agriculture in Merced County, San Joaquin Valley, and California and
include trial reports and reference material on crops, domesticated animals, wildlife,
integrated pest management, fertilizer, pesticides, water, soil, and climate. These records
also include reports and information on the work of the Home Demonstration Agents, who later
became the 4-H advisors. Subjects include: home economics, nutrition education, home
gardens, home beautification, youth development, and lesson plans. The collection includes a
wide variety of formats: typed reports, data sets, local newsletters and press releases,
maps, audiovisual material, photographs, slides, scrapbooks, and a variety of publications
from the county, state, and national level.
At the turn of the previous century, growing concern over the quality of life for rural
Americans prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to appoint a Commission on Country Life in
1908. One of the direct outcomes of the Commission's recommendations was the passage of the
Smith-Lever Act in 1914, which established a national extension service to place the
knowledge generated at land-grant universities into the hands of farmers and rural citizens.
The Agricultural Extension Service formalized and built upon existing efforts of land-grant
universities to enhance the knowledge of farmers and apply scientific discoveries for
improved agricultural practices.
This collection is intended to support teaching, research, and private study. Copyright
belongs to the Regents of the University of California. Use of the materials beyond that
allowed by fair use or by any Creative Commons licenses assigned requires the written
permission of the copyright owner(s). For further information, please contact the University
of California, Merced Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This collection is open for research. A portion of the records have been digitized and are
freely available online. Series 1 through 7 are located at UC Merced Library, Series 8
through 12 are located at the Merced Cooperative Extension Office. For help locating
material please contact email@example.com.