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State Board of Agriculture records

 Collection 0055-UA
The State Board of Agriculture, whose members included the Regents of the University of Maryland, was founded in 1916 as an authority to enforce the laws of the state of Maryland relating to agriculture. The board was abolished in 1972 with the creation of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The collection consists of the administrative records of the board and includes annual reports, forms, pamphlets, and charts documenting animal disease control and the administration of the board.

Dates

  • 1916-1958 and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1916-1917

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The State Board of Agriculture records span the period from 1916 to 1958 and include forms, annual reports, pamphlets and charts. They document animal disease control and the administration of the board. The collection has been arranged as one series of administrative records.

Administrative History

The State Board of Agriculture was founded in 1916 as an authority to enforce the laws of the State of Maryland relating to agriculture. The board's purposes were to supervise the production and distribution of agricultural products with particular attention to sanitation, as well as to oversee the use of fertilizers, chemicals, seeds, and machinery employed in this process. The board was also greatly concerned with controlling/eliminating animal and plant diseases and inn later years, soil preservation and insect control became additional important issues.

The board was divided into specialized departments, such as the Department of Drainage or the Seed Inspection Committee, which oversaw the enforcement of laws and regulations. In addition, these departments investigated specific problemns and published the results of their research in articles and statistical compiliations.

The State Board of Agriculture consisted initially of nine members, all of whom also served as the trustees of the University of Maryland. As the size of the Board of Trustees increased to eleven and later twelve members, so did the membership of the State Board of Agriculture. The positions on this board were unpaid and were held for a term of nine years.

The committee was to report annually to the Maryland General Assembly and, upon request, to the governor. In addition, the board published its annual reports and informational materials for farmers and farm suppliers. From July 1967 until 1972, the board also produced a monthly newsletter entitled "Agricultural Review."

The State Board of Agriculture could claim achievements in many fields. It succeeded in gaining control over the spread of tuberculosis among livestock; consequently Maryland was considered free of tuberculosis by the 1960s. The Farmers' Institutes, first convened in 1917, were annual conferences held by the board to inform farmers about legislation and to instruct them about current agricultural issues. And the mosquito control program was an example of the successful incorporation of communities into the board's programs. Between 1956 and 1967, the board succeeded in increasing the number of participating communities from 82 to 850. This development greatly increased the effectiveness of actions such as spraying, the use of larvicides, and the ditching and filling of marshes to reduce the mosquito population.

The State Board of Agriculture was abolished in 1972 with the creation of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Arrangement

This collection is organized as one series:
Series 1
Administrative Records

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The State Board of Agriculture records were transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in 1972.

Related Material

Published records of the State Board of Agriculture may be found in the State Documents Collection in the Maryland Room. This collection also includes a complete run of the board's newsletter, Agricultural Review, dating from July 1967 to 1972.

The Farmer's Institutes records, convened by the State Board of Agriculture, are also available in the Maryland Room.

Processing Information

The collection was refoldered and reboxed into acid-free materials.
Title
Guide to the State Board of Agriculture records
Status
Completed
Author
Guide revised by Birgit Prelle.
Date
1989-10-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212