SCUA

University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Natural Resources and the Environment

University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Natural Resources and the Environment, 1882-2007.

(53.5 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 015

During its first seventy five years, the mission of Massachusetts Agricultural College gradually expanded from its original focus on teaching the science of agriculture and horticulture. Coping with the changing demands of research and teaching in a disparate array of fields, responsibilities for the administration of University units were reorganized at several points, culminating in the formation of the College of Natural Resources and the Environment in 1993.

This record group consists of Dean’s annual reports, organizational charts, personnel lists, committee minutes, lecture materials, data sheets, maps and census statistics, conference proceedings, course catalogs, directories, publications, handbooks, records of the Agricultural Experiment Station, photographs and audio-visual materials, and other related materials.

Access restrictions: Portions of this collection are stored off-site and require advance notification for retrieval.

Historical Note

Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC) was founded in 1863 when the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 provided funds for the establishment of colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts throughout the nation. The curriculum changed throughout the early years of MAC although practical courses in agriculture and horticulture remained at its core. Through time, the curriculum broadened as a result of the changing economy, agricultural techniques and perceptions by college and state administrators about what constituted “rural development.”

In 1907, the Division of Agriculture and the Division of Horticulture were established. Frank A. Waugh, Professor of Horticulture, came to the College in 1902, and in 1903 established an undergraduate curriculum in landscape gardening, one of only two in the country at the time. By 1909 fifty-two courses in agriculture and horticulture were offered, organized into four sections: Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Farm Administration. The Horticulture Division included the Departments of Landscape Gardening, Floriculture, Market Gardening, Pomology and Forestry.

In 1915, a graduate curriculum in Landscape Gardening was developed within the Division of Horticulture, which, after three semesters, would lead to a masters degree. By 1918, the graduate program was called Landscape Architecture (it was not until 1930 that the undergraduate program in Landscape Gardening was re-named Landscape Architecture, paralleling the change in name of the Massachusetts Agricultural College to the Massachusetts State College in 1931).

In response to the growing need for trained farmers during the World War I period, a two-year professional and technical school was founded in 1918 as the “Two-Year Course”. The divisions of Horticulture and Agriculture were re-organized into separate schools in 1945. Five years later, under new leadership, the two schools merged into the School of Agriculture and Horticulture, which in 1955 was re-named the College of Agriculture. The College or Agriculture was organized into the College of Food and Natural Resources in 1972. In 1975, the Division of Home Economics transferred to the College under the Department of Food Science.

In 1984, recognizing the role that the University of Massachusetts plays in regional economic development, the State Legislature established a Center for Rural Massachusetts at the Amherst campus, an information clearinghouse that assists town and state officials in policy development around such issues as population growth and urban sprawl, subdivision zoning, rising residential price fluctuations, and wise use of agricultural lands for development.

In 1991 the Division of Home Economics became the Department of Consumer Studies reflecting the multi-disciplinary focus of the department. Two majors were offered at this time, Apparel Marketing and Family, and Consumer Sciences. In 2000 the Apparel Marketing program was eliminated. Subsequently, due to budget concerns and a lack of critical mass of faculty to meet its curriculum obligations, the Department of Consumer Studies was eliminated in December, 2001. The Family and Consumer Sciences program, within Consumer Studies, was thereafter transferred to the Department of Economic Resources. In 2003 the College of Food and Natural Resources was reorganized and changed its name to the College of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Scope and Content

This record group consists of Dean’s annual reports, organizational charts, personnel lists, committee minutes, lecture materials, data sheets, maps and census statistics, conference proceedings, course catalogs, directories, publications, handbooks, photographs and audio-visual materials, and other related materials.

00. Publications (except as noted below)
1. Dean
2. Experiment Stations
Experimental work was first conducted at the Massachusetts Agricultural College in the 1870s by Charles A. Goessmann, Levi Stockbridge, and President William Smith Clark. In 1882 a formal experiment station was established. The State Agricultural Experiment Station (State Station) was directed by Charles A. Goessmann. In 1888 a second station was founded under provisions of the Hatch Act and was named the Hatch Experiment Station while the earlier one continued under the name of the State Station. In 1895 the two stations merged under the name Hatch Station, which continued until 1907, when it was changed to Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station.

Contains annual reports, Board of Control minutes, Joseph B. Lindsey letter copy book (1890-1900), bulletins, and photo albums (1882-1895).

1. State Station 1882-1895
2. Hatch Station 1888-1907
3. Massachusetts Town Statistics 1930-1970 (bulk 1930-1940)
From 1935 to the 1940s, Professor David Rozman and Ruth E. Sherburne of the Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Economics, compiled agricultural, economic and demographic data in cooperation with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management for a project initiated by Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Adjustment Administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The resulting study documents adjustments in farming by type of farming areas, from the standpoint of agricultural adjustment and planning, including soil conservation. The project utilized base maps compiled under a Works Progress Administration project (No. 20677) in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Planning Board, in the 1930s-1940s, which are included in the collection.

Included in this series are maps, statistical charts and tables of land use and growth in many of the towns in Massachusetts for the period from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s.

3. Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
4. Center for International Agricultural Studies
1. Malawi Project 1963-1970
5. Stockbridge School of Agriculture
6. Wildlife Research Unit; Fishery Unit (Massachusetts Cooperative)
7. Farm
8. Cooperative Extension Service
In May 1914 Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act appropriating $10,000 to establish, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an extension service at Massachusetts Agricultural College and in several surrounding counties. The funds were to be used to support cooperative extension work (primarily lectures and demonstrations), organization of teaching clubs, and work with local schools in agriculture and home economics. Laura A. Comstock, the first Professor of Home Economics (1913), became home demonstration leader in 1916 when she received her joint appointment from the College and the United States Department of Agriculture, becoming the first Massachusetts State leader of Home Demonstration Agents.

In 1918 a new law providing for county extension work was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature which stipulated that county extension services had to be administered under local boards of trustees. This “home rule” policy for extension was supported by President Butterfield who believed that extension services should be administered and controlled by the constituency that they served. This degree of local administration was the first of its kind in the nation.

In the 1930s, the Extension Service developed educational materials for the federal government.
The Cooperative Extension Service responded to World War II by identifying local leaders and coordinating Extension with other agencies assisting farmers with maintaining or increasing production. Since 1947, when Massachusetts State College became the University of Massachusetts, the Extension Service has undergone organizational changes and widened its responsibilities. Formerly used only in reference to crops and other farm products, agriculture was redefined and expanded to include all the processes through which farm products pass before reaching the consumer. It came to apply to problems affecting the use of natural resources and environmental influences, which led to new staff appointments in such fields as resource development, environmental science, food processing and marketing.

In the years following WWII, Cooperative Extension took an active role in assisting other countries with establishing extension services. The result was cooperative agreements between the University of Massachusetts and institutions in Japan (University of Hokkaido), West Germany, Vietnam and others; and in 1963, the University and the Agency for International Development signed a contract to carry out an agricultural training program in Malawi, Africa.

In 1996, UMass Extension was moved from the College of Food and Natural Resources to University Outreach and, John Gerber was then appointed Director of UMass Extension. In 2000, Stephen Demski assumed the role of Interim Director of UMass Extension and Associate Vice Chancellor University Outreach.

Consists of annual, directors’, and project reports; histories; committee records; course materials; subject files; bulletins, leaflets, circulars, newsletters, newsclippings, and press releases; and other published materials.

1. Sea Grant Advisory Program
2. County Agricultural Program
3. Center for Massachusetts Data (State Data Center)
4. Young People’s Programs 1946-1954
5. State Planning Board
6. Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM)
7. Small Farm/Rural Development Resource Center
9. Massachusetts Farm Prices Research Collection 1910-1965
Statistical information on Massachusettts farm prices compiled by Roy E. Moser, Extension Economist, Department of Farm Management.

9. Waltham Suburban Experiment Station
10. Mount Toby Reservation
11. Horticulture Division of Massachustts Agricultural College
12. Department of Consumer Studies 1914-2001
When the Massachusetts Agricultural College was established in 1863, the door was opened for the future study of home economics. The Land Grant College Acts (1862 and 1890) provided early land-grant institutions with unique opportunities to provide “practical and useful quality education for the mass of citizens.” In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act created the Cooperative Extension Service with Home Economics Extension as an essential component. The Extension Service was charged with the responsibility of taking practical information from the land grant colleges and the Department of Agriculture to the citizenry of the Commonwealth.

Prior to 1916 there were very few women students at the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Some took class as early as 1892; however, it was not until 1905 that undergraduate women first received degrees. Between 1910 and 1923, 47 women attended the College and 37 graduated. Their extracurricular activities included holding class offices, Landscape Art Club, Florist and Gardeners Club, as well as fellowship at Delta Phi Gamma, the first sorority on campus. Additional women faculty and new curriculum were established that would meet the needs of these early women students. Starting in 1916, a historic point in time, women would appear thereafter in every graduating class.

The first home economics course offered at the Massachusetts Agricultural College, Foods and Conservation, was offered as part of the ten weeks Winter School of the 1917-1918 college year. As they lacked their own facilities, students (the majority were women) used the Amherst High School laboratory on Saturday mornings for the laboratory work.

In 1919, Edna Lucy Skinner was hired as Professor of Home Economics and head of that new program at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Under her leadership (1919-1946), the program grew from a Department in 1924, to a Division in 1928 and then a separate School in 1945, with Edna Skinner as Dean. As of 1921, the Department of Home Economics was offering to women students elective courses only; and for the first time, a full-time instructor was available, which resulted in an increased interest and impetus in this work. The increasing interest in these courses, and the demand from the women students for additional work, together with urgent requests from many High School girls who wished to attend the Massachusetts Agricultural College and pursue a major in Home Economics supplied impetus for developing a full Home Economics program. Their goal was to develop a course in Home Economics, which would emphasize home making as a fundamental vocation for young women.

In 1930, the Home Economics Department printed a brochure titled “Instruction in Home Economics, which encouraged women to study home economics at the Massachusetts Agricultural College. The study of Home Economics offered “the modern girl” the opportunity to take courses which would be both broadening and satisfying as she pursued her chosen vocation or profession. The first graduate work in home economics was done in 1935-1936 by Dorothy Doran; Gladys Cook received the first Masters of Science in Home Economics in 1936. Helen S. Mitchell joined the Department of Home Economics faculty in 1935.

During World War II, undergraduate women at the Massachusetts State College were offered many more opportunities in higher education; especially in the sciences. As the WWII veterans returned home and went to college, Mass State College saw a decline of women’s enrollment in the sciences. However, women enrolled at the College were evenly divided between majors in the liberal arts, physical and biological sciences, and Home Economics. In 1945, the Division of Home Economics became the School of Home Economics with Helen Michell appointed its second Dean in 1946, serving until 1960 when she retired.

In 1947, when the Massachusetts State College became the University of Massachusetts, both the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs were expanded. Though women had made great gains during the war, they still faced traditional thinking in the post-war years. In his 1950 Annual Report, President Van Meter rationalized that women attending college could best prepare themselves for their life’s work by taking Home Economics classes. In 1973 the School of Home Economics became the Division of Home Economics (1973-1991). Later reorganization resulted in Human Nutrition and Foods being moved within the College of Food and Natural Resources, under the Department of Food Science; and Human Development was transferred to the School of Education.

In 1985, an extensive external review of the Home Economics Division’s organization was conducted following a period of internal strife and a yearlong search for a permanent director. In 1988 Penny A. Ralston was appointed as Head Division of Home Economics, serving until 1992; when Sheila Mammen, Associate Professor of Consumer Studies, was appointed head.
In 1991 the Division of Home Economics became the Department of Consumer Studies reflecting the multi-disciplinary focus of the department. Two majors were offered at this time, Apparel Marketing and Family, and Consumer Sciences. Also, in 1991, as part of Cooperative Extension’s reorganization, three program coordinators joined the Department of Consumer Studies on an interim basis.

In 2000 the Apparel Marketing program was eliminated. Due to budget concerns and a lack of a critical mass of faculty members to meet its curriculum obligations, the Department of Consumer Studies was eliminated in December of 2001, with the Board of Trustees approving tenure for the four Consumer Studies faculty members, as they transferred into different departments at UMass. The Family and Consumer Sciences program, within Consumer Studies, was thereafter transferred to the department of Economic Resources.

Formerly the Home Economics Division.

13. Northeast Forestry Experiment Station 1923-1933
14. Cadwell Forest
15. Cranberry Experiment Station
16. Center for Rural Massachusetts
17. Horticultural Research Center 1962-2007

Subjects

  • Agriculture--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Agricultural Experiment Station
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. College of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Stockbridge School of Agriculture
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