Cooperative Extension, the Farm Bureau, and Luther N. Duncan, 1914-1947
Original Lecture Date and Time: April 18, 2006 at 4PM
Location: Special Collections & Archives, Ralph Brown Draughon Library
Speaker: Dwayne Cox
About the Speaker
Dwayne Cox serves as head of Special Collections & Archives at Auburn University and is the author of "Alabama Farm Agents, 1914-1922 and Luther N. Duncan, the Extension Service, and the Farm Bureau", which appeared in the Alabama Review (October 1994 and July 1998).
About the Lecture
In 1914 Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act, which provided funds to create a network of county farm agents based at the land grant colleges in every state. These agents would carry knowledge regarding production agriculture and farm management from the land grants to the nation’s farm families. In 1920 Luther N. Duncan became director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. From his office in Auburn, he directed a corps of county farm and home demonstration agents. In 1921 he was instrumental in establishing the Alabama Farm Bureau Federation, originally a cooperative purchasing and marketing organization. Under the leadership of Duncan and E.A. O’Neal, president of the Alabama Farm Bureau, the two organizations built a powerful political alliance. Eventually, this helped elevate O’Neal to the presidency of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Duncan to the presidency of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute in Auburn.