SEGMENT: FARM ORGANIZATIONS & ELECTRIFICATION

Charles Shuman>UIS Collection S>UIS Collection S, Segment 15

SEGMENT: FARM ORGANIZATIONS & ELECTRIFICATION,

duration 11:22
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ELECTRIFICATION
mid-1930s they bought their house; rudimentary plumbing and no wiring. 1935 got Delco Battery system. 1936 high line was installed in the area. Farm Bureau helped start a rural cooperative and build the system.
FARM BUREAU
Enthusiasm of Pres. Sam H. Thompson addressing Farm Bureau meeting at U. of I. when Shuman was a student sparked his interest in joining. Joined when he came to farm in 1929. Rose rapidly in the organization. Services were extension services to help farmers increase food supply (to allies during war). County agents paid by federal and state funds and local sources. Also educated farmers to use limestone, phosphates, and legumes, and better livestock methods. Some leaders early on had more ideas, e.g., ordering seeds in bulk, potato seeds by the carload, soil testing, & seed corn testing. Story of one county agent who started a hatchery to improve local strains of poultry;. His hatchery business grew and he went into business for himself. Bureau struggled to find its role. Reasons were need of money, extension would have more impact if had an organization to support them, and needed local innovative leadership coming from locals.