Following the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, many Chambers of Commerce
were helpful in supporting the development of "Farm Bureaus", which a the
time (pre-WWI) WERE what is now Cooperative Extension.
For example, here in Monroe County (N.Y.), the Rochester Chamber of
Commerce, the County legislature & the County Grange joined resources to
establish our Farm Bureau in 1913. Recognizing the need for informal
educational programs focusing on farm women, the Home Bureau was
established here in 1917. And youth needs were addressed in 1919 with the
establishment of the Youth Bureau. These related but somewhat
independent groups WERE Extension into the 50's.
I'm not a historian & this is anecdotal (from my dad), but I understand
that Extension reorganized into a more unitary model in the 50's The Farm
Bureau continued sans gov't affiliation, in part as a lobbying group (Coop
Extension can't & shouldn'tlobby). In many areas the Home Bureau still
exists, with an older membership that tends to do crafts n'such. Our
County gov't still coordinates youth services thru a Youth Bureau (not
associated with Extension).
There's likely some experts out there that can be more specific re this
On Wed, 6 Dec 1995, W. Tate Heuer wrote:
> On 5 Dec 1995, Chuck Otte wrote:
> > organization. And insurance "memberships" account for a lot of their
> > numbers. Keep in mind that the Farm Bureau was started by the New
> > York Chamber of Commerce - not from a grass roots agricultural base.
> I was taught in ag policy class that Farm Bureau was started by the
> extension service, and as they started taking political stands they
> became more independent. I would like some more info on what has been
> said here.
> Tate Heuer
> Agricultural Business and Economics Student
> Arkansas State University