Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Merced County, UC Cooperative Extension Records
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (294.37 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Merced Library
    Title: University of California Cooperative Extension Records, Merced County
    source: Grass, J.F., Jr.
    source: Walker, Ralph
    source: Tiffany, F.G.
    source: Graham, W.A.
    source: Quail, John Lester
    source: Alison, W.H., Jr. (William H.)
    source: Wright, R.V.
    source: Bennion, L.L.
    source: Volz, Albert G.
    source: Jackson, Sheldon N.
    source: Burlingame, B.B.
    source: Robertson-Fiske, Ada
    source: Burgess, Marion C.
    source: Smith, Freda
    source: Eddy, Eleanor
    source: Peterson, Don A.
    source: Voskuil, Glenn
    source: Carlson, Verner
    source: Conley, Chester C.
    source: Price, Fred
    source: Schroeder, J. Price
    source: Stewart, J. Ian
    source: Gibson, Alex
    source: Hendricks, Lonnie C.
    source: Scheuerman, Robert W.
    source: Farley, Jim (James)
    source: Hauser, Deanna F.
    source: Coulson, Joan (Dade)
    source: Weir, Bill L.
    source: Mahacek, Richard L.
    source: Hardwood, Jan (Holly)
    source: Norton, Maxwell V.
    source: Manton, Linda Marie
    Identifier/Call Number: UCCE.MER
    Physical Description: 69 Linear Feet Located at UC Merced Library
    Physical Description: 220.5 Linear Feet Located at UC Cooperative Extension Merced County Office
    Date (inclusive): 1916-2003
    Language of Material: English

    Organizational History

    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.
    Beginning in 1913, the Agriculture Extension Service, later known as UC Cooperative Extension, placed farm advisors employed by the University of California in every county that formed a farm bureau and agreed to sponsor Extension Service work. While arrangements have evolved, advisors continue to work in all California counties today and address problems ranging from soil conditions and land reclamation to irrigation; from livestock breeding to improved varietals; and from mechanization to disease and pest management, to enable farms to increase efficiency and productivity.
    Cooperative Extension was established in Merced County in 1917 with a unanimous vote by the County Board of Supervisors. In its first year, Cooperative Extension had a membership of 406 members. J.F. Grass, Jr was the first Farm Advisor in Merced. Cooperative Extension has played an important role in the county with the formation of the irrigation districts, fire suppression, cow testing, farm visits, home economics, and pest extermination campaigns. Farm Advisors and Home Demonstration Agents addressed both statewide and local priorities and programs. Prior to the 1950s, the Merced County office had limited staff and the Farm Advisors did not specialize in areas. Their work was largely dictated by federal and state programs, such as wartime activities and the Agricultural Adjustment Act. These federal and state programs at times curtailed their local programs and priorities, which included cow testing, 4-H club work, and vine and tree fertilizer work. After the 1950s, as the county office staff grew in size, the farm advisors started to specialize in different commodities, with a focus on sweet potatoes, tomatoes, nuts, fruit trees, cattle, and dairy, as well as youth development and nutrition.
    County Directors:
    J.F. Grass Jr., 1917-1923
    John L. Quail, 1923-1931
    W.H. Alison Jr., 1931-1953
    Don A. Peterson, 1953-1973
    Glenn Voskuil, 1974-1983
    Robert W. Scheuerman, 1983-1985
    Linda M. Manton, 1985-1990
    James Farley, 1991-2005
    Richard L. Mahacek, 2005-2012
    Maxwell V. Norton, 2012-2015
    Scott Stoddard, 2015-Present

    Scope and Contents

    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.


    The arrangement is based on the original order of the collection at the time of accession. Series 2 through 5 reflect the original order and name of the farm advisor who was the last custodian of the records in that series. The records in these series reflect the custodian's research focus and tenure but also include records inherited from previous farm advisors.
    This collection consists of 14 series and 44 subseries:
    Series 1. Administrative Files
    Subseries 1. Annual and Weekly Reports
    Subseries 2. Trial Reports
    Series 2. Maxwell Norton Files
    Subseries 1. Correspondence and Reports
    Subseries 2. Fruit Trials
    Subseries 3. Historic Files
    Series 3. Robert Scheuerman Files
    Series 4. Bill Weir Files
    Subseries 1. Meeting, Talks, and Project Materials
    Subseries 2. Soil
    Subseries 3. Crops
    Subseries 4. Water
    Subseries 5. Publications
    Subseries 6. Lab Materials
    Series 5. Lonnie Hendricks Jr. Files
    Subseries 1. Pomology
    Subseries 2. Almonds
    Subseries 3. Apricots and Pistachios
    Subseries 4. Walnuts
    Subseries 5. Soils, Weather, and Weeds
    Subseries 6. Fruit
    Subseries 7. Grant Funded Project Files
    Subseries 8. Old Files
    Series 6. Crops
    Subseries 1. Sweet Potatoes
    Subseries 2. Tomatoes
    Subseries 3. Vegetables
    Subseries 4. Fruit and Nut Trees
    Subseries 5. Grains and Soils
    Series 7. Livestock
    Subseries 1. Dairy Science
    Subseries 2. Poultry
    Series 8. 4-H
    Subseries 1. Photographs
    Subseries 2. Judging Forms
    Subseries 3. Lesson Plans
    Subseries 4. Publications
    Subseries 5. Scrapbooks
    Subseries 6. Inactive 4-H Records
    Subseries 7. Motion Picture Film and VHS Tapes
    Subseries 8. Artifacts
    Subseries 9. Outreach Material
    Series 9. Photographs and Audiovisual Material
    Subseries 1. Aerial Photographs
    Subseries 2. Agricultural and Historical Photographs
    Subseries 3. Motion Picture Film and Audio Recordings
    Subseries 4. Slides
    Series 10. Publications
    Subseries 1. Cooperative Extension Publications
    Subseries 2. Experiment Station Publications
    Subseries 3. Fruit Notes and Tree and Vine Notes
    Subseries 4. USDA Publications
    Subseries 5. Other Publications
    Series 11. Maps
    Series 12. Specimens
    Series 13. Trophies
    Series 14. Antique Farm Equipment

    Conditions Governing Use

    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 library@ucmerced.edu.

    Conditions Governing Access

    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 14 are located at the Merced Cooperative Extension Office. For help locating material please contact library@ucmerced.edu.
    Access to files containing information on University personnel matters is restricted for fifty years from the latest date of the materials in those files. 

    Preferred Citation

    University of California Cooperative Extension Records, Merced County, UCCE MER, UC Cooperative Extension Archive, University of California, Merced Library, 5200 North Lake Road, Merced, CA 95343

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Merced County (Calif.)
    Merced County (Calif.)--History
    University of California Agricultural Extension Service--Merced County (Calif.)--Farm and Home Advisors Office.
    Farm Bureau--Merced County (Calif.)
    Dairy products--Merced County (Calif.)
    Sweet potatoes--Merced County (Calif.)
    Nuts--Merced County (Calif.)
    Fruit trees--Merced County (Calif.)
    Agriculture--California--Merced County--History
    4-H clubs--California--History
    Grass, J.F., Jr.
    Walker, Ralph
    Tiffany, F.G.
    Graham, W.A.
    Quail, John Lester
    Alison, W.H., Jr. (William H.)
    Wright, R.V.
    Bennion, L.L.
    Volz, Albert G.
    Jackson, Sheldon N.
    Burlingame, B.B.
    Robertson-Fiske, Ada
    Burgess, Marion C.
    Smith, Freda
    Eddy, Eleanor
    Peterson, Don A.
    Voskuil, Glenn
    Carlson, Verner
    Conley, Chester C.
    Price, Fred
    Schroeder, J. Price
    Stewart, J. Ian
    Gibson, Alex
    Hendricks, Lonnie C.
    Scheuerman, Robert W.
    Farley, Jim (James)
    Hauser, Deanna F.
    Coulson, Joan (Dade)
    Weir, Bill L.
    Mahacek, Richard L.
    Hardwood, Jan (Holly)
    Norton, Maxwell V.
    Manton, Linda Marie