Research Seminar: Reimagining the Modern Farm

Research Seminar: Reimagining the Modern Farm

Amrys Williams of Hagley Museum and Library will discuss her paper, “Reimagining the Modern Farm: Ecological Development and 4-H’s New Deal for Agriculture.”

Author's abstract for the seminar paper:

4-H rural youth clubs originated in the early 20th century as a part of USDA efforts to encourage American farm families to adopt modern agricultural and home practices.  But the clubs' distributed organization also meant that they played a more complicated role in rural development than simply disseminating land-grant college research to farm children and their parents.  Focusing on 4-H and extension programs in Wisconsin, this paper explores how 4-H put forth an ecological view of rural development during between the late 1920s and the early 1940s through work in two new areas -- conservation and health -- that made important connections between the health of rural landscapes and the health of rural communities.  At a moment when New Deal programs were transforming farmer's relationships with both the federal government and the land they worked, 4-H's holistic vision represented an important critique of the production-focused agricultural policy that club work had originally been called to promote.

The seminar is open to the public and is based on a paper that is circulated in advance. Those planning to attend are encouraged to read the paper before coming to the seminar. Copies may be obtained by emailing Carol Lockman, Reception at 6 p.m., seminar begins promptly at 6:30 p.m., and takes place in the Copeland Room of Hagley’s library building.

Read more about Hagley Research Seminars here.