Recently we received a large collection of materials related to the Knapp family of historic Knapp Farm in Montgomeryville. Among them were several newsletters from the Montgomery County Agricultural Extension.
Agricultural extension programs originated with the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 which established extension programs connected to the land grant universities. The purpose of the program is to encourage farmers to learn the latest agricultural techniques. Here in Pennsylvania, the county agricultural extensions are part of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
The papers from the Knapp family show the extension’s many areas of the concern: Flower clubs, 4-H, animal husbandry, home economics, and, yes, farming.
4-H Clubs predate the Smith-Lever Act by 12 years, but the club’s mission of teaching new agricultural techniques fit so well with the goals of the act, that the act supported them. From our collection, we can see that the Montgomery County Extension also supported a Home Beautification Club and a Flower Club.
In January, 1942, the Home Economics Extension sent out a newsletter, titled “The Rural Women and the National Defense.” In addition to vague advice like, “Keep on with your homemaking job, but DO IT BETTER than you ever have before,” the newsletter announces four new programs to help homemakers:
How Well Do You Know Your Meats?
Vegetables for Health
Facts About Bread
The Extension also provided guides to buying and caring for clothes as well as recipes.
This undated program shows the variety of demonstrations and classes held by the extension:
Then there’s this:
Sign me up for the chicken barbeque song fest!