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Statistical summaries of extension results are valuable for comparative purposes from year to year and may be used for any given period as indications of volume of activities and character of projects on which special emphasis has been placed.

It is true that national totals of numbers of people reached by State extension services fail to indicate existing wide differences between States, just as individual State totals can not picture the variation in records of achievements between counties. Such totals, however, are impressive in denoting growing, virile organizations engaged in a large worth-while service to large numbers of rural people. Just as a bank statement expresses size, soundness of principles, and permanency of service, so may achievement records be interpreted for Smith-Lever extension.

That Smith-Lever extension has placed large emphasis upon the demonstration method of teaching is clear in view of the total of 800,000 demonstrations for the year 1927. Straight production projects lend themselves to widespread adoption of this method and the results as illustrated in Table 32 testify to the prevailing popularity of emphasizing both method and result demonstrations as a means of securing adoption of improved practices.

In the work with boys and girls the previous statement pointing out the opportunity for increasing the number of completions is strongly supported by the percentages quoted for the various projects. The average for all projects considered was slightly more than 60 per cent. This record is entirely too low and points to one of two fundamental faults in this phase of the extension service. Either enrollments are obtained in wholesale fashion without proper organization and careful selection or the program of work is carelessly supervised with subject matter teaching inadequately provided. Some States have a record close to 80 per cent, and even this can be increased by improved methods of operation.

Table 33 presents the record of achievement of home-economics projects for the year ending November 30, 1927. Similarly to the report of agricultural projects in Table 32 the figures are impressive in their illustration of the interest and participation of rural women in the extension service.

The total number of demonstrations (649,127) is quite remarkable considering the number of workers comprising the home-extension staff.

Likewise the number of persons adopting improved practices is remarkable. Reports show almost 400,000 to have adopted improved methods of food preparation and preservation, 168,000 in nutrition, almost 107,000 in home management, 126,500 in home furnishing, and 83,000 in home health. In addition, 109,000 persons adopted better methods in home gardening in 1927, 60,000 in poultry management, 17,000 in home dairying, and 84,862 in community activities,

These accomplishments were made possible in large measure by the unselfish, voluntary service of local people, 19,000 of whom assisted as teachers in foods programs, 16,000 in nutrition, 32,500 in clothing, 11,400 in home management, 12,000 in house furnishing, and more than 9,000 in home health.

Among juniors the reports of results of home economics project work indicate corresponding accomplishments. More than 140.000 girls and 1,000 bors completed projects in food preparation and preservation in 1927, almost 50.000 girls and 7,000 boys in nutrition, 146,000 completed clothing projects, 13,800 home management, 30,000 home furnishing, and 56,000, a tenth of whom were boys, completed courses in home health.

In the junior projects the record of completions made by the girls was not as high as that of the boys, even in their own projects. The same criticism holds true in these activities as was made in connection with the boys' and girls' work in agricultural projects, namely, the relatively small number completing the year's work.


TABLE 33.-Results of projects on home economics extension, all States,' year ending November 30, 1927

2, 398

Counties reached
Communities reached
Local leaders cooperating-
Method demonstrations.
Result demonstrations.
Individuals adopting improved practices
Total enrollment
Total completed.

9, 310
1, 308
16, 182
19, 217
98, 719
397, 517
281, 176
179, 816

7, 706
35, 753
43, 931
168, 293
156, 166

12, 693

1, 501
21, 592
32, 590
98, 936
81, 126
297, 245
238, 760

5, 297

8, 466
11, 421
21, 702
30, 950
106, 667
115, 012
60, 413


9, 834
12, 617
35, 012
33, 093
126, 417
127, 813

2, 947

9, 229
9, 389
14, 483
23, 421
83, 259
85, 237
47, 533






Result demonstrations.

10, 404
242, 237

2, 296

12, 141
224, 796

88, 879
8, 911

140, 991

1, 311 101, 273

47, 765

6, 686 55, 219

145, 913

1 Data from Extension service United States Department of Agriculture. 2 Number of adult projects carried on by home agents, specialists, and local leaders.

The effect upon family relationships, family finance, and community well-being through the adoption of practices and changing attitudes of rural people by the home economics projects can not be statistically measured but it represents one of the permanent values of this educational service.

The statistics quoted in Tables 31 and 32 present the objective results of extension work in terms of the participation of local groups in the adoption of practices designed to improve the business of farming. But these are not the most significant measures of extension achievements.

Far more valuable and permanent are the less tangible results of the development of attitudes of mind that express an eagerness to participate further in the process of continuing education. This outstanding record can not be readily measured and tabulated for any given period. Its significance is noticeable and appreciated, however, by a visit to any rural community where the service has been in operation any length of time. Every day witnesses more people, not only becoming familiar with the fact of its existence, but finds them seeking ways of profiting by using various phases of its educational offerings.

So long as educational ideals guide the operation and administration of the extension service and so long as those responsible for fulfilling its functions bear clearly in mind the true objective being sought, namely, the development of people, there will be no serious question raised as to its place in the educational system or as to the significance of its achievements.

Chapter VIII. — Findings and Recommendations, Smith-Lever


(1) Smith-Lever extension owes its present position to five contributing factors, namely: An historical ideal of direct service, substantial Federal support, private economic advantage, political consciousness, and cooperation supplemented by effective publicity.

(2) The statements of objectives and programs of work do not adequately recognize that Smith-Lever extension includes not only vocational training but also important social and humanistic purposes.

(3) The fundamental objective of Smith-Lever extension education, namely, development of rural people themselves, was stated as of first importance by but four institutions. It was pointed out that this objective is accomplished by fostering attitudes of mind and capacities which will enable rural people better to meet the individual and civic problems with which they are confronted.

(4) The lack of close articulation of extension with resident instruction and research work is a decided weakness in the organization of many institutions.

(5) Unless extension specialists bring back to their institutions pressing problems requiring research attention, they are only partially filling the job. This function has not been sufficiently emphasized.

(6) The lack of systemized organization of time, projects, personnel, and finances in some counties is hindering the attainment of maximum results.

(7) The most effective extension organizations are those in which the central supervisory force serves effectively and in which local people are securely welded into responsible active groups.

(8) The functions of the club agents in organization and supervision should be more fully supplemented by and coordinated with competent technical knowledge ordinarily available through trained agricultural and home demonstration agents.

(9) Smith-Lever extension is financed cooperatively, the Federal Government contributing 35 per cent; State funds, 37.5 per cent; county funds, 22.1 per cent; and private agencies, 5.4 per cent (1927 budget).

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