Agriculture News

June 13, 2016

Purdue University Press to launch book honoring early county extension agents

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University Press will launch "Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family: A Photo History of Indiana's Early County Extension Agents" in June. The book has been endorsed as a Legacy Project by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

The book, written by Fred Whitford, Neal Harmeyer and David M. Hovde, captures the story of the state's first Extension agents in archival photos and words during a time when Extension was just an idea and county agents traveled muddy back roads to visit farmers.

"I had the privilege of seeing Extension in its infancy serving people in rural communities through the photos in the book and realized the goal of Purdue Extension today is still helping people of all ages to better themselves through education," said Whitford, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and clinical engagement professor in the College of Agriculture

The book is compiled from original county agent records discovered in the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center in the Purdue University Libraries. "Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family" includes hundreds of rare and anecdotal information about how county agents overcame their constituents' reluctance to change.

Through patient outreach and dedicated engagement, they built trust in communities and were able to share new information that introduced farmers and their families to new frontiers of productivity.

Purdue Extension programs today are a result of the hard work shown in this book. They include agriculture and natural resources, health and human sciences, economic and community development, and 4-H youth development.

For more information or to purchase the book, click here. 

Writer: Bryan Shaffer, 765-494-8428,

Source: Shannon Walker, 765-496-9610,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

Ag News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-24 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at