A Case Study From the Post-New Deal State Agricultural Experiment Station System: A Life of Mixed Signals in Southern Illinois
Agricultural and Human Values
A wide literature in the sociology of agriculture has depicted the development of agricultural experiment stations at land grant colleges as part of a development project to improve agricultural productivity in particular commodities. Some experiment stations developed regional agricultural centers or stations to improve productivity and address local concerns, recognizing the importance of context in rural development. Through analysis of one such station, the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in Southern Illinois, this paper describes how regional agricultural stations played a key role in the often conflicting agricultural programs of and following the New Deal. Changes in university structure from the 1970s to present and the current national recession have led to financial crises that have put these stations in a precarious position. Still, we argue that these institutions ought to be recognized as regional resources for a new era of agricultural development, and we suggest approaching that new era by building on the existing literature of community–university partnerships.
Ganning, J., C.G. Flint, and S. Gasteyer. 2012. A case study from the post-New Deal state agricultural experiment station system: A life of mixed signals in Southern Illinois. Agriculture and Human Values. 29: 493–506.