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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
Pennsylvania State Archives


RG-1

Records of the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Series Descriptions



Secretary of Agriculture

Under section I of the Act of March 13, 1895, establishing a Department of Agriculture, the Office of Secretary of Agriculture was created to administer the activities of the newly created department. The secretary is appointed to a four year term by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, and is charged with the responsibility to "encourage and promote agriculture and related industries throughout the Commonwealth." This primary responsibility is accomplished through numerous programs and services, mostly mandated by law. These programs and services range from animal and plant disease control and eradication programs, agricultural product inspection and regulatory programs, marketing and agricultural promotional services to grants and subsidies.


Administrative Correspondence,
1936-1938, 1941-1956, 1958-1971, 1987-1989, 1997-2003.
(72 cartons)

{series #1.1} [Holdings]

Between 1936-1971, arranged alphabetically by subject or correspondent, and thereunder chronologically by date of correspondence. From 1987 on, organized loosely in chronological order and thereunder in some instances by subject.

Incoming, outgoing, and interdepartmental correspondence between the Secretary of Agriculture and bureau directors, department heads, and citizens. There are large groupings of material from the administrations of Secretaries Miles Horst (1941-1953), W. C. Hennings (1955-1963), and Leland H. Bull (1964-1969). Information found includes regulations for disease control and the licensing of health officials; codes for building inspection; reports to the secretary regarding insect infestation, livestock, and crop disease; recommendations from inspectors; research data; agricultural statistics; and transcripts of legislation. Also included are budget figures, policy statements, program evaluations, statistics on damage from Hurricane Agnes, department reports, contracts and agreements, press releases, publications, newspaper clippings, and occasional photographs. Prior to 1953, the files are almost exclusively from the Farm Show Commission, except for several folders of contracts and agreements from 1936-1938. The majority of files from 1998-2003 relate to Agriculture Secretary Samuel E. Hayes, Jr., and consist of event invitations, and regret and thank you letters, with a smaller portion of files relating to constituent mail; farm easement legislation; crop loss programs in response to the drought of 1999; county fairs; and farmland preservation. Also contains correspondence with the Governor, 1959-1962 (continued beyond 1962 in Correspondence with the Governor and Cabinet Members, 1963-1975 {series #1.2}. Administrative correspondence is also found in Executive Office Correspondence File, 1955-1975 {series #1.3} and Interdepartmental Correspondence File, 1970-1975 {series #1.4}.

Annual Reports,
1877-1991 (not inclusive).
(7 boxes)

{series #1.19} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year of volume.

Published annual reports of the State Board of Agriculture. Also bound within the annual reports are a list of board members, board committees, board reports and publications, minutes of the transactions of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society, the report of the Pennsylvania Dairyman's Association, the report of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, and the annual report of the Pennsylvania State College. Some annual reports are bound into multi-year volumes.

Correspondence with the Governor and Cabinet Members,
1963-1975.
(6 cartons)

{series #1.2} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by year, and thereunder arranged alphabetically by subject or correspondent.

Letters referred to the Secretary of Agriculture by the Governor, cabinet members, committee chairmen, and deputy secretaries. Information found in the records include addresses of cabinet members, their deputies and public information officers; newsletters and columns printed by various commissions; brochures on community planning; outlines for a Consumer Protection Act (1972) and a Bureau of Consumer Affairs; drafts of reports and presentations; proposals for new programs; and lists of the governor's appointments. Correspondence with the Governor prior to 1963 is filed in Administrative Correspondence, 1936-2003 {series #1.1}. Administrative correspondence is also found in Executive Office Correspondence File, 1955-1975 {series #1.3} and Interdepartmental Correspondence File, 1970-1975 {series #1.4}.

Executive Office Correspondence File,
1955-1975.
(22 cartons)

{series #1.3} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date of correspondence, and thereunder arranged alphabetically by subject.

Correspondence, pamphlets, news clippings, and other documentation received by the Office of the Secretary. The files provide information on topics such as the Appalachia Poverty Program, department and state budgets, the Dairy Council, the Farm Show complex and activities, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, disaster relief, professional associations, publications, reports, Pennsylvania State University, national conventions, and legislation. Similar correspondence is also found in Administrative Correspondence, 1936-2003 {series #1.1}, Correspondence with the Governor and Cabinet Members, 1963-1975 {series #1.2} and Interdepartmental Correspondence File, 1970-1975 {series #1.4}.

Interdepartmental Correspondence File,
1970-1975.
(9 cartons)

{series #1.4} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Correspondence and memorandums to and from staff of the Department of Agriculture, citizens, business owners, and local government officials. Subjects covered include the Dog Law, animal shelters, animal testing, Farm Show, food safety, product labeling, consumer education, rural development, rural transportation, pesticides, and various agricultural industries. Similar correspondence is also found in Administrative Correspondence, 1936-2003 {series #1.1}, Correspondence with the Governor and Cabinet Members, 1963-1975 {series #1.2} and in Executive Office Correspondence File, 1955-1975 {series #1.3}.

Press Office Photographs,
1890-2003.
(37 cartons, 11 boxes)

{series #1.5} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject. Between 1992-2003, grouped chronologically, and thereunder by subject.

Photographs, negatives, slides, and motion picture films produced by the Department of Agriculture's Press Office. The photographs, negatives and slides record events, department executive staff, honored guests, animal and plant diseases, promotions, buildings, exhibits, and agricultural products. Examples include construction of the Department of Agriculture building, 16th National Plowing Contest, Farm Show livestock parades and champions, Crow abatement, Anti-Inflation Gardens, antique farm machinery, and aerial views of areas affected by Oak Wilt. Also included are two 400 foot 16 mm color and sound motion picture reels titled "Silent Servants" and "Beyond Tomorrow", ca. 1960s, which are short promotional clips developed by the Department of Agriculture.

Scrapbooks,
1918-1940.
(1 microfilm roll, #6642)

{series #1.37} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year, and thereunder grouped chronologically by date of newspaper article.

Microfilm of news clippings arranged in bound scrapbooks. The news clippings provide information on topics such as crop estimates, increases, declines, and total yield in production; statistics on crops, livestock, orchards, acreage, machinery, and farmers; estimates and reports on weather conditions, disasters, and diseases that impacted agricultural production; state farm shows and awards; information on records, standards, and surveys collected by the Department of Agriculture; cost of production and information on prices for agricultural products; and political legislation and social groups affecting Pennsylvania farmers. In 1924, the selected news clippings are more politically focused, and there are references to World War I wartime wheat production and Prohibition. In 1924-1930 and 1940, articles focus on decline in prices and financial losses for Pennsylvania farmers. The 1940 news clippings are predominantly about publicizing farm shows statewide. The news clippings are not always labeled with dates or title of newspaper; however, the scrapbooks contain clippings from a variety of sources and towns across the Commonwealth.

United States Secretary of Agriculture Report Books,
1892-1893.
(2 volumes)

{series #1.40} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by bureau or division.

Reports from the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Agriculture; the Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry; the head Chemist, Entomologist, Ornithologist, Mammalogist, Botanist, Vegetable Pathologist, Pomologist, and Microscopist for their respective sections; the Chief of the Division of Forestry; the Superintendent of Gardens and Grounds; the Departmental Statistician; the Chief of the Seed Division; the Division of Illustrations; the Division of Records and Editing; the Chief of the Division of Accounts and Disbursements; the Director of the Office of Experiment Stations; and the Chief of the Weather Bureau. Topics addressed include growing tea in South Carolina, road and irrigation inquiries, and fibers. The actual title on volumes is: "Report of the Secretary of Agriculture."


Bureau of Farm Show

Between 1900 and 1916, farm organizations held their annual meetings in Harrisburg, usually with a display of exhibits. In August 1916, the Secretary of Agriculture, Clark E. Patton, invited agricultural groups to discuss the possibility of a combined farm show and this meeting resulted in the staging of the Pennsylvania Corn, Fruit, Vegetable, Dairy Products and Wool Show on January 23, 1917. To coordinate the many activities involved in producing the annual shows, a State Farm Products Show Committee was created in December 1917. A motion was passed by the Committee in February 1927 recommending that it be reorganized as an agency of the Commonwealth, and that a provision be made for an advisory board to be composed of representatives of participating organizations. Thus, the State Farm Products Show Commission was created in April 1927. The Commission is now responsible for various agricultural and athletic events, as well as numerous types of commercial and trade shows. In addition to the Farm Products Show, it sponsors three other major annual shows: the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show (1964-present), the Pennsylvania Livestock Exposition (1957-present), and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (1947-present). Other events such as the Shrine Circus, Sportsman's Show, Automobile Show, political rallies and basketball games are also supervised by the Commission.


Exhibition and Show Lists,
2007-2014.
(6 cartons)

{series #1.35} [Holdings]

Grouped by year and thereunder grouped by subject.

Premium lists, catalogs (entry lists) and sale lists for the Keystone International Livestock Exposition, the All-American Dairy Show and the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The premium lists include information such as judges, times, eligibility, and rules for each show division and section. The exhibition catalogs list all exhibitors and sponsors. Information provided for each exhibitor includes: exhibitor number, name, farm name, city and state where farm is located, animal's name, registration number, date of birth, sire, dam, and breeder. The Sale of Champions program provides a list of Farm Show champion and reserve champion animals and their purchasers. Brochures for Keystone International Livestock Exposition and All-American Dairy Show contests are also included.

Farm Products Show Commission Minutes
1927-1997.
(2 cartons)

{series #1.6} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meetings. Between 1985-1987, arranged chronologically by year, and thereunder loosely by subject.

Minutes from the meetings of the Farm Show Products Commission. Meeting topics include financial statements, budgets, building plans, and exhibits. Some other issues included the approval of judges for the various contests, theatrical and musical guests and performers, and health regulations for livestock. The meetings also discuss livestock sales, purchasing new property, designating parking areas, and records of prize money awarded.

Farm Show Contracts, Correspondence and Exhibits,
1985-1994.
(2 cartons)

{series #1.21} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year and thereunder by subject.

Correspondence, exhibit contracts, and premium lists related to the annual Farm Show. Information found in the records include exhibitors' contracts and type of exhibits; invoices and financial data involving vendor fees; and floor plans showing layout of exhibits and community booths.

Official Farm Show Program Souvenir Books,
1979-2002 (not inclusive).
(1 carton, 1 box, 1 volume)

{series #1.32} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year.

Official program souvenir books from the Annual Farm Show include greetings from the Secretary of Agriculture and Governor; daily schedules of events and meetings; photographs of various Future Farmers of America Chapters and commodity queens; exhibitor map and lists; advertisements; and news features relating to the Department of Agriculture. Also included in this series is a History of the Pennsylvania Farm Products Show, 1937, and a reprint from The Telephone News, "The Fabulous Farm Show", March 1963.


Bureau of Farmland Protection


Farm Certifications,
1977-1986.
(1 carton)

{series #1.34} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year and thereunder by date of application.

Applications from Pennsylvania farmers who sought exemption from costs associated with sewer and water line installation under Act 71: The Farmland Water and Sewer Exemption Act. The records contain information about the land owner, property in question, assessment from water and/or sewage company, documentation that the land was and would continue to be devoted to agricultural use, types and amounts of commodities produced, and documentation from owners that they met the minimum requirements of Act 71. Included in the files are correspondence, memos, land deeds, profit and loss statements, maps, and in some cases, photographs. One file includes an appeal with information from the hearing and related documents.


Bureau of Government Donated Food


Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Files,
1985-1987.
(1 carton)

{series #1.38} [Holdings]

Grouped by subject.

Files of the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). As part of a national initiative, TEFAP provided cheese, butter, honey, rice, flour, cornmeal, and nonfat dairy milk to qualifying low-income people in every county in Pennsylvania. Includes: reports, correspondence, memorandum, bulletins, county surveys, evaluations, program rules, corruption investigations, and publications.


Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services

The Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services prevents, detects, controls, and eradicates diseases and dangerous substances that may threaten the health and safety of domestic animals and humans. This is accomplished through a variety of regulatory activities including enforcing animal transport regulations, licensing activities, maintaining diagnostic laboratory facilities, performing inspections, conducting disease certification programs and surveillance initiatives.


Policy and Procedure Files,
1999-2008.
(1 box)

{series #1.43} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Strategic plans, grant reports, and other correspondence related to the functions of the Board of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services. Also included are four DVD's of investigative footage from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).


Bureau of Animal Industry

The Bureau of Animal Industry was created in 1919 with divisions for Hog Cholera Eradication, Tuberculosis Eradication, Milk Hygiene, Horse Breeding, and Meat Hygiene. During the 1980s and 1990s the bureau protected and promoted the livestock and poultry industries of the Commonwealth through prevention, control, and eradication programs for dangerous transmissable diseases. The bureau maintained animal diagnostic laboratories and administered licensing programs for animal-related services and industries. In 1997 the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services was created to control and eradicate diseases in livestock and poultry which affect human health or cause significant economic loss to farmers. Currently the bureau maintains a tri-partite animal health laboratory system called the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System. This connects laboratories in Harrisburg, Penn State University, and the University of Pennsylvania to provide laboratory testing, field-based monitoring and producer outreach, protecting citizens, the food supply, and animal agricultural industry in the Commonwealth.


Map of the Experimental Farms,
1929.
(1 folder)

{series #1.41} [Holdings]

Map of the Department of Agriculture Enola Experimental Station in Cumberland County. The Bureau of Animal Industry maintained a diagnostic laboratory and various livestock and poultry facilities on the grounds of the farm. The map shows buildings, roads, related infrastructure, and elevation contours.


Bureau of Plant Industry

The Bureau of Plant Industry was established in 1919 when the Bureau of Economic Zoology, which had operated within the Department of Agriculture since 1897, was reorganized and renamed. A new organizational structure for the Bureau became effective in December of 1971, and included the following divisions and sections: Entomology Division (Regulatory Section, Survey Section, Taxonomy Section, Pest Management Section); Plant Pathology Division (Survey Section, Diagnostic Laboratory Section, Clean Stock Program Section, Regulatory Section); Botany and Seed Division (Laboratory Section, Seed Certification Section.) At that time, the Entomology Division also assimilated the duties of the Division of Nursery Inspection, which had existed within the Bureau since 1917. Later in 1974, the Division of Feed, Fertilizer, and Lime Control and the Pesticide Program were transferred from the Bureau of Foods and Chemistry to the Bureau of Plant Industry, providing greater expertise in the use of pesticides to more effectively implement the Pennsylvania Pesticide Control Act of 1973. The Bureau is responsible for maintaining and protecting Pennsylvania's agriculture from destructive plant pests and protecting consumers from purchasing low quality plants or plant material due to pest-associated problems. It fulfills this mandate by conducting surveys to detect new or unusual pests, monitoring known pests to determine population levels, providing accurate identification of the species, generating studies of the organism and its relation to other organisms, making available to the public the results of research dealing with the control or management of the pests, and regulating crop growers and nurseries to assure "pest free" or superior quality propagating stock.


Lantern Slide File,
1905-1944.
(31 boxes)

{series #1.25} [Holdings]

Partially arranged by type of insect and plant disease.

Contains approximately 3,500 3x5 glass lantern slides primarily created from the Photographic Negative File, 1905, 191-1944 {series #1.7} for educational and study purposes. Most bear descriptive information and the number of the negative from which each was taken. Others are illustrations taken from books, maps, charts or graphs. There are also title slides prepared by staff for use in lectures. A few were purchased from commercial photographic firms such as William, Brown & Earle, Co., Philadelphia; the Edmondson Co., Cleveland, and from Mrs. M. V. Slingerlund. Infrequently, lantern slides are hand-colored. Though originally arranged by subject, this order has been lost, and the file is presently unarranged.

Photographic Negative File,
1905, 1911-1944.
(6,469 negatives)

{series #1.7} [Holdings]
[APPOINTMENT REQUIRED FOR NITRATE FILM NEGATIVES]

Arranged numerically by negative number.

Contains 5x7 or 4x5 glass or film negatives created and used by the bureau for technical and publicity purposes. Each image, arranged numerically, is housed in a folder bearing a number and descriptive information. Though the negatives number 6,469, there are some missing, and the actual count is over 5,700. A contact print is occasionally filed with the negative.

Subjects cover activities of the bureau and other bureaus of the department, special events, animals, insects and plants. Plants, animals, and insects often bear their Latin taxonomic names.  Activities and events show staff at work, the Insect Collection Room, exhibits at various conferences, egg testing, and treating plant diseases at experimental farms and orchards all over the state, including the William Crawford Farm, North East, PA, the Luce Farm, Erie, Dan Rice Orchards, Miller Orchard, Tyson Brothers apple orchards in Adams and Franklin Counties.  Animals include domesticated and wild animals and birds, most native to Pennsylvania. Insects are either beneficial or harmful to farm and forest production. Many views are technical studies of an insect at various stages of development: egg, larva and adult. Bees and beekeeping are represented with views of apiaries near Middletown and elsewhere. Plants are primarily vegetable, fruit, and nut crops, shown at planting, cultivation, harvesting and processing. Examples are shown of healthy plants and those damaged by insects such as the gypsy moth and typical diseases such as chestnut blight, white pine blister rust, barberry rust and its eradication, potato wart and others. Miscellaneous subjects include views of pruning and spraying trees in Capitol Park, Harrisburg; Wildwood Park, Harrisburg, the Hartstown Bog, Cope Farms, Lancaster, orchards owned by Governor William Sproul; farm machinery; greenhouses; Codorus Mill; tobacco farming in Lancaster, the town of Somerville, N.J., during a 1920 gypsy moth infestation; the Heinz Tomato Canning Factory, Chambersburg; and "war gardens" cultivated by anthracite and bituminous coal mining and coke families in Jeddo, Drifton, Highland, Weatherly, Dearth, Ulysses, Vintondale, Beaver Brook, and other places. Portraits include Governor John Tener, the Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries of Agriculture and Heads of the Bureau of Plant Industry.



Reports and Related Records,
1917-1971.
(1 carton, 5 boxes, 1 flat file)

{series #1.8} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report or date correspondence was received. Carton 6 is loosely grouped by subject.

Reports and records sent to the director of the Plant Industry Bureau from various departments and inspectors. Information found includes annual, biennial, and monthly reports, lists of certified greenhouses and nurseries, reports of inspectors, project proposals and evaluations (often with maps and photos incorporated), plant pest prosecution files, reports on plant pathology, and drafts of federal and state regulations. The records provide data on insect infestation (Japanese Beetle, Blueberry Maggot, Gypsy Moth) and plant diseases (Dutch Elm Disease, White Pine Blister Bust). Prior to 1923, there are scattered records dealing with introduced pests, historical materials, and general bureau activities.

White Pine Blister Rust Lantern Slides,
circa 1920s.
(1 box)

{series #1.39} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Contains eighty-six color images on glass lantern slides used in a training program for forestry employees to assist in the recognition of white pine blister rust and its control through the elimination of the black currant bush (Ribes species). Most slides are labeled with a description, location information and date. Slides include: images of disease on white pines and the control procedures and activities carried out to eradicate Ribes. Subjects include sites all over the Northeastern United States. Some slides are labeled U.S. Department of Agriculture and contain a number relating to its photographic negative. For more lantern slides, see also Lantern Slide File, 1905-1944 {#1.25}.


Bureau of Markets

The Bureau of Markets was established in 1917 to assist the producer, processor, wholesaler, and retailer in the promotion and sale of Pennsylvania agricultural commodities. The divisions of the Bureau included: Fruits and Vegetables; Poultry and Eggs; Livestock and Dairy; Marketing and Consumer Services; Market Development; and Fair Fund Administration. In 1871, the branches of Fruits and Vegetables and Poultry and Eggs were transferred to the Bureau of Foods and Chemistry, and the Division of Market Development was expanded into the Bureau of Agricultural Development in 1982. The Bureau furnishes advice and assistance on the marketing of farm products; compiles and distributes information concerning the supply, demand, prevailing prices, and commercial movement of farm products; assists in the organization and conduct of public markets and cooperative marketing associations; establishes standards for the grading of principal farm products; maintains an inspection service which assures purchasers of high quality products and certifies the grades of farm products at farm shipping points, receiving points, and canneries to meet the needs of intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce; and licenses dealers in agricultural products. The Bureau administers the disbursement of the Pennsylvania Fair Fund to state and county fair organizations, statewide agricultural organizations and qualified youth organizations. The Bureau is also responsible for the enforcement of certain laws pertaining to agricultural marketing and the administration of the "General Agricultural Commodities Act of 1968." This act permitted the Bureau to order the development of promotional and research programs for agricultural programs.


Glass Lantern Slides of Pennsylvania Market Houses,
[ca. 1920].
(1 box)

{series #1.9} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Lantern slides of interior and exterior views of public markets in Pennsylvania, ca. 1920. The slides, in a slotted wooden container, are arranged as for a lecture. There is no index to the lecture, and most markets are unidentified. Identified items include the Farmers' Market, Lancaster; Broad Street Market, Harrisburg, and the South Side and Diamond Markets, Pittsburgh.


Division of Crop Reporting

The Division of Crop Reporting was created in 1924 as a cooperative program of the Statistical Reporting Service, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The Division was responsible for reporting facts on the state's agricultural activities at the county level to support the reports at the state and national level. The Division obtained information from farmers and agri-businessmen on prospective and current supplies of agricultural products. Basic data for crop and livestock estimates was obtained from producers by mail, telephone, and personal interview. Bulletins released include weekly weather and crop condition reports; monthly crop reports which list state and national acreage, prices, and stocks; and listings of crop and livestock producers. The forecasts and estimates reach those engaged in agricultural production, marketing, research and development. The Division was also responsible for state surveys of roadside markets, irrigation machinery custom rates, as well as the state and national surveys of farm production expenditures. In addition, the Bureau conducted inventories of agricultural products and machinery (that is, number of commercial fruit trees, grapevines, motor vehicles), and responded to requests for data made by mail, telephone, or in person.


Farm Census Correspondence,
1924, 1927-1928.
(5 folders)

{series #1.10} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date of correspondence.

Correspondence to and from the Department of Agriculture, county commissioners, and the local assessors dealing with issues arising from the Triennial Assessments. Correspondence typically consists of the Department of Agriculture questioning the accuracy of the latest census of farms reported by the local assessor, and the responses from the assessors explaining the reasons for the reduced number of farms. These replies are interesting because they show the disdain of the local assessors toward their appointed duties and the Department of Agriculture. Other topics discussed include instructions given to the local assessors by the county commissioners. Also contained in this series are copies of the Individual Farm Schedule used to record the data, and copies of Act 153 that required the Triennial Assessments, explained the headings, and gave instructions to the local assessors.

Farm Census County Summaries,
1924-1927.
(1 box)

{series #1.11} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of county, and thereunder by year of report.

Annual assessment report summaries for the Triennial Farm Census. Information provided by the 1924 reports of each township and borough in the county and includes the number of farms and whether they were owned, rented or managed; number of males and females in the family; total acres of farm land; number of acres for winter wheat, rye, oats, corn (for grain and silage), buck wheat, potatoes, tobacco, tame hay, and alfalfa hay; number of bearing and nonbearing apple trees; number of bearing peach trees; number of animals including horses, mules, dairy cattle, other cattle, swine, sheep, and hens and pullets; number of bee hives; number of silos; amount of equipment such as tractors, trucks, and automobiles; whether the farm is equipped with a radio; and whether the farm is equipped with electricity supplies by either a individual plant or a central station. In addition to the previous information, the 1927 census also recorded then number of males and females in the family who were under ten years of age, and whether the farm was equipped with running water in the kitchen, a furnace heating system, milking machines, gas engines and telephones.

Farm Census Returns,
1924, 1927.
(58 boxes)

{series #1.12} [Holdings]

Grouped by year of report, and thereunder arranged alphabetically by name of county, and thereunder by name of borough or township.

Annual assessment reports for the Triennial Farm Census as completed by the local assessor for each borough or township. Information provided by the 1924 census returns includes the name of the occupant or person operating the farm and whether they were owned, rented or managed the farm; number of males and females in the family; total acres of farm land; number of acres for winter wheat, rye, oats, corn (for grain and silage), buck wheat, potatoes, tobacco, tame hay, and alfalfa hay; number of bearing and nonbearing apple trees; number of bearing peach trees; number of animals including horses, mules, dairy cattle, other cattle, swine, sheep, and hens and pullets; number of bee hives; number of silos; amount of equipment such as tractors, trucks, and automobiles; whether the farm is equipped with a radio; and whether the farm is equipped with electricity supplies by either a individual plant or a central station. In addition to the previous information, the 1927 census also recorded if the farm had running water in the kitchen, a furnace heating system, milking machines, gas engines and telephones.

Farm Census Summary Lists,
1924-1928.
(10 folders)

{series #1.13} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by report number.

Summaries compiled from the data gathered during the Triennial Farm Census of 1924. Examples of topics covered by the summary lists include total number of farms in each county, number of peach growers by county with individual names listed, individual dairy farmers in Perry County, individual tobacco farmers by county, number of motor trucks on farms in each county, and individual sheep owners in Crawford county. Most of the summary lists include the names of individual farmers and their addresses.


Division of Zoology

The Division of Zoology collected and published information relating to the diseases, insects, animals, and birds that attack trees and plants. The Division of Zoology issued quarterly and monthly bulletins concerning plant and animal diseases.


Photographs,
circa 1900-1920.
(1 box)

{series #1.42} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Black and white photographs of the Division of Zoology. The bulk of the photographs show Economic Zoologist Harley A. Surface and staff inspecting crops, orchards, and apiaries. The Economic Zoologist was charged with the enforcement of laws relating to the inspection of nurseries, fields, and animal stock within the Commonwealth and given the power to prevent or exterminate destructive insects and diseases.


Harness Racing Commission



Meeting Minutes,
1960-1986.
(1 carton)

{series #1.31} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by year and thereunder arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Minutes from the meetings of the Harness Racing Commission. Meeting topics include financial concerns, such as budgets, take-out rates, and wagering; legislation affecting the sport in general and gambling specifically; personnel matters, including disciplinary and conduct issues; rules, protocols, standards and regulations for harness racing; and approval of racing schedules. Some other issues include the testing of animals for chemicals; safety considerations; and legal complaints against the Commission. In some instances, related correspondence is included with the minutes.


Horse Racing Commission



Historical Files,
1984-1996.
(1 carton and 1 box)

{series #1.30} [Holdings]

Box 1 is grouped by subject and thereunder arranged chronologically by date of correspondence. Carton 2 is grouped by subject.

Correspondence, legal, and related files of the Horse Racing Commission. Files contain information relating to the creation and later termination of transfer accounts for purposes of telephone betting; the sale of Keystone Racetrack to Philadelphia Park; financial reports; applications for licenses; legislation; research studies documenting the testing of race horses for illegal performance enhancing drugs; and investigative proceedings. Also included are files, reports, correspondence, and legislation related to the merger of the Horse and Harness Racing Commissions.

Meeting Minutes and Reports,
1968-1997.
(10 cartons, 3 volumes)

{series #1.29} [Holdings] [RESTRICTED]

Arranged chronologically by year and thereunder arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Agenda packets that include minutes from the meetings of the Horse Racing Commission, the bulk of which belonged to Commissioner Ben H. Nolt, Jr. Meeting topics include financial concerns, such as funding and budgets, purse and stake standards, and wagering; legislation affecting the sport in general and gambling specifically; licensing; personnel matters, including organization of Commission, disciplinary and conduct issues; rules, protocols, standards and regulations for horse racing; and approval of racing schedules. In some instances, miscellaneous files and reports along with related correspondence are included with the minutes.

Note: These records are currently RESTRICTED due to the interfiling within meeting minutes of Executive Sessions of Commission Meetings, which are closed to the public. Please contact the Pennsylvania State Archives if you have questions about this series.


Plant Pathology Division



Wheat Stem Rust Eradication Program Files,
1935-1975.
(10 cartons)

{series #1.14} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by topic. Between 1937-1941, grouped alphabetically by county, thereunder by township, and then arranged by location.

Records and correspondence sent to the Plant Pest Control Division documenting the Barberry (Wheat Stem Rust) eradication activities of federal, state, county, and local agencies. Records include reports on the epidomology of the disease, maps and diagrams showing the spread of the disease and program results, recommendations for the survey and detection of Barberry plants, charts on herbicide testing results, handbooks for crew leaders, publications and additional reference works. Many of the county reports are dated from 1970, and a US Department of Agriculture publication (ca. 1955-1956) on Barberry eradication worldwide is included. Between 1937-1941, files contain survey cards used to indicate locations of Barberry plants and to track treatments during the Wheat Stem Rust Eradication Program (1935-1975). Data recorded includes physical location of the farms; names of owners and tenants; type (flowering, non-flowering, or seedling), number and location of Barberry plants on the property; actions taken, including the amount and type of chemicals used; names of scouts; dates of visits, treatments, and case closure; and any legal actions taken.



Press Office


16th Annual National Plowing Contest and Conservation Exposition Scrapbook,
1958.
(1 box)

{series #1.24} [Holdings]

Arranged by subject.

For the first time in the history of the National Plowing Contest, the annual exposition was held east of Ohio and on a single farming operation in Pennsylvania on the Milton Hershey Farms in 1958. This scrapbook documents activities leading up to and including the 16th Annual National Plowing Contest and Conservation Exposition. Referred to as the "World Series of Agriculture", the objectives of the competition were the advancement of conservation and the selection of champion level land and contour plowmen to represent the United States in the 1959 World Plowing Matches in Northern Ireland. More than 30 specially-designed soil, water, forest, fish and wildlife conservation projects and demonstrations were held during the six-day schedule of events, including the folk festival Pennsylvania Dutch Days. Formats found in the scrapbook include competition rule books, press releases, publications, photographs and newspaper clippings. The scrapbook contains documents relating to county, regional, state, and national contests; the Queen of the Furrows competition; the Plowmen's Banquet; the National and Pennsylvania Agriculture Days; Sheep Dog Trials; Poultry Federation; aviation; commercial exhibits; and other events related to the exposition.

Agricultural History Files,
1928-1995.
(1 carton)

{series #1.22} [Holdings]

Arranged by subject.

Subject files and related documents concerning the history of Pennsylvania and the Department of Agriculture. Files include legislation; press releases; published and unpublished manuscripts including drafts; photographs; news bulletins and clippings; reports, pamphlets, and articles; and in some cases architectural drawings and floor plans. Subjects include a history of the Commonwealth, the Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Association; national and state agricultural policies and legislation; and historical information on the Pennsylvania State University and the state's crops, economy, and farming situation.

Bicentennial Farm Files,
2004-2005.
(1 carton)

{series #1.28} [Holdings]

Arranged randomly.

Similar to the Century Farm Program, the Bicentennial Farm Program is designed to recognize farms that have been owned by the same family for at least two hundred consecutive years. To be recognized, a farm must have been owned by a family for at least two hundred years, and the family must still be living there on a permanent basis. Also, the farm must consist of at least ten acres of the original holding or be grossing more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.

Types of documents included in the files are the application forms, certificates of recognition, correspondence, maps and blueprints, copies of deeds and warrants, photographs, newspaper clippings, and family histories. Information provided on the notarized application forms includes names and family relationships of owners, street address of property, acreage, date of original purchase by the family's ancestors, a legal description of the land from a deed or tax statement, and a listing of the chain of ownership during the occupancy of the property. Additional historical information which may also be found includes: name of original seller, acreage at the time the farm passed into the family, cost of the land per acre at that time, birthplace and previous residence of first family owner, whether or not the farm was a "homestead", occupation of first owner, number and names of first owner's children, where the children moved if known, whether the original house still stands and is in use, date present home was built, and any other historical data deemed relevant by the applicant. In some cases, Bicentennial Farm applications and certificates dating after 2005 are interfiled within the Century Farm Files, 1976-2010 {series #1.20}.

Century Farm Files,
1976-2012.
(5 cartons, 2 boxes)

{series #1.20} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county name and thereafter arranged alphabetically by surname of owner. From 2005 to present, arranged chronologically by year.

The Pennsylvania Century Farms Program was initiated in 1976 to recognize Pennsylvania families who have been farming the same land for at least one hundred years. The idea of a Century Farms Program, aimed at emphasizing the importance of economic and rural heritage and traditions, was originated by the New York Agricultural Society in 1937. Farms which had been in the same family for over 100 years were honored in ceremonies at Albany as members of the Order of Century Farms. In 1948 the Bradford County Historical Society of Pennsylvania began its own program, similar to the one in New York, and today, the Commonwealth's program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. To be recognized, a farm must have been owned by a family for at least one hundred years and the family must still be living there on a permanent basis. Also, the farm must consist of at least ten acres of the original holding or be grossing more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.

Contains application files for the Century Farms program. Types of documents included are the application forms, certifications of recognition, correspondence, maps and blueprints, copies of deeds and warrants, photographs, newspaper clippings, and family histories. Information provided on the notarized application forms includes names and family relationships of owners, street address of property, acreage, date of original purchase by family's ancestors, a legal description of the land from a deed or tax statement, and a listing of the chain of ownership during the family's occupancy of the property. Additional historical information which may also be found includes: name of original seller, acreage at the time the farm passed into the family, cost of the land per acre at that time, birthplace and previous residence of first family owner, whether or not the farm was a "homestead", occupation of first owner, number and names of first owner's children, where the children moved if known, whether the original house still stands and is in use, date present home was built, and any other historical data deemed relevant by the applicant. In some cases, bicentennial farm files dating after 2005, such as those found in Bicentennial Farm Files, 2004-2005 {series #1.28}, are filed within this series.

Photographs, Publications and Videotapes,
1907-2002.
(5 cartons)

{series #1.23} [Holdings] [APPOINTMENT REQUIRED]

Unarranged.

Photographs, negatives, publications and video recordings produced by the Department of Agriculture's Press Office. Events documented include the Farm Show, Ag Progress Days, and miscellaneous activities and demonstrations of the Department and its staff. Also included in this series are ten video recordings with promotional and educational clips, interviews, reports and raw footage. Publications included are reports of activities and finances, programs, bulletins, and booklets.

To view special media, please make an appointment in advance by contacting the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Speeches and Related Records,
1987-1992.
(1 carton)

{series #1.26} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Speech files from the Department of Agriculture's Press Office during the term of Governor Robert P. Casey. Most speeches include date, venue (conference, meeting, event), and intended speaker.


State Agricultural Land Preservation Board

The State Agricultural Land Preservation Board (SALPB) was created by Act 149 of 1988 as part of a statewide program to assure that Pennsylvania farmers would have land resources necessary to provide farm products for the people of the Commonwealth and the nation. The mission of the SALPB is to conserve and protect agricultural lands by purchasing agricultural easements that restrict and limit the conversion and development of farmland for non-farm use, while allowing farmers to retain ownership of their property. The SALPB provides the counties of Pennsylvania with the funding and oversight needed to purchase such easements when they are voluntarily offered by the land owner. This program is a furtherance of Act 43 of 1981, the Agricultural Area Security Law. Agricultural conservation easements provide compensation to landowners in exchanged for their relinquishment of the right to develop their private property, which benefits Pennsylvania farmers by permanently protecting a family's farmland while providing cash incentives that can be used for retirement and expansion or improvements to their property, etc.


Meeting Minutes,
1989-1998.
(7 cartons)

{series #1.33}
[Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year and thereunder by date of meeting.

Minutes from the meetings of the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board. Topics include financial reports, allocation of state funds, easement purchases, and in some cases relevant legislation or state laws. Included with the minutes are agendas, sign-in sheets, meeting notices, related correspondence and applications for easement purchases. Applications include a description of the farm, quality of the farmland tract, contributions to agricultural productivity, likelihood of conversion to non-farm use, conservation practices, discussion of purchase price, and comparison of farm against the minimum criteria. Each report includes an analysis of the farm land, including soil classifications, soil maps and topographical maps; summaries and assessments of the property, including acreage, crops, livestock, and current buildings; a ranked list of properties proposed for easement purchase; and a statement of costs.


State Board of Agriculture


Agriculture of Pennsylvania Reports,
1877, 1879-1894.
(17 volumes)

{series #1.16}
[Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Annual reports of the State Board of Agriculture are included in this series. Information present includes a list of board members, board committees, board reports and publications, minutes of the transactions of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society, the report of the Pennsylvania Dairyman's Association, the report of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, and the annual report of the Pennsylvania State College.

Quarterly Reports,
1878-1894.
(4 volumes)

{series #1.17} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically.

Quarterly reports of the State Board of Agriculture are included in this series. Lists of board members, committees, and local farmers institutes are present, as well as copies of papers and reports covering various topics in some way related to agriculture in Pennsylvania.

Annual Reports,
1877-1885, 1892-1894.
(4 volumes)

{series #1.18} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically.

Annual reports bound into multi-year volumes are contained in this series. The information is identical to that present in Series #1.16.



State Conservation Commission

The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission's (SCC) primary mission is to ensure wise use of Pennsylvania's natural resources and to protect and restore the natural environment through the conservation of its soil, water and related resources. The fourteen-member commission provides support and oversight to the state's sixty-six county conservation districts for the implementation of conservation programs in an efficient and responsible manner. The Commission administers several state conservation programs including the Nutrient Management and Odor Management Program, the Dirt and Gravel Program (pollution prevention), Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP Tax Credit) Program, and the Leadership Development Program. Staff also provides oversight and professional certification for nutrient management specialists, odor management specialist and manure hauler and brokers. The Commission is an administrative body under the concurrent authority of the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA). The Commission is administratively housed with PDA. The Commission is supported with staff from both PDA and DEP. The Commission accomplishes its mission by working cooperatively with local, state and federal government agencies, numerous industry and professional associations and nonprofit organizations. For more information and additional resources, please visit the SCC's website at www.agriculture.state.pa.us.



Executive Level Files,
1945-2004.
(10 cartons)

{series #1.36} [Holdings]

Grouped by subject.

Meeting minutes, legislation, correspondence, agendas and resolutions relating to the Nutrient Management Advisory Board (NMAB), the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), and the State Conservation Commission (SCC). Information includes reports, working drafts, executive orders, senate resolutions, publications, and occasional news clippings. Topics include the Chesapeake Bay agreement and watershed partnership, Landowner Reclamation of non-coal mine lands, Conservation District allocations, law compliance strategies and investigations, and nutrient management of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).


State Soil and Water Conservation Commission

The General Assembly of 1945 created the State Soil Conservation Commission in the Department of Agriculture. The Assembly also repealed the 1937 Act establishing a State Soil Conservation Board. The 1963 General Assembly changed the name to the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The Commission was transferred to the Department of Environmental Resources in 1970. County soil and water conservation districts were established by resolution of the board of county commissioners for any county when it was determined that conservation of soil resources and prevention of erosion were problems of public concern in the county, and when a substantial proportion of rural land owners favored such a resolution. The chief responsibility of the county districts was carrying out preventive control measures within the county through cooperation with land owners on a voluntary basis. The Commission aimed toward conservation of soil and water resources by controlling and preventing soil erosion, maintenance projects to safeguard and conserve local water supplies, assistance of community drainage projects, conservation of wildlife, and forest management. The State Commission also approved county plans, appropriated funds from state and federal sources, took responsibility for expenditures by county districts, and cooperated with government agencies.


Annual Reports of the County Soil and Water Conservation District,
1943-1969.
(2 cartons)

{series #1.15} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by county and thereunder chronologically by date of the report.

Reports compiled by each county and sent to the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission and interested members of the community. Each report furnishes information from cooperating agencies such as the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Highway Department, Fish Commission, Department of Forest and Waters, Agricultural Extension Service, Vocational Agriculture, United States Soil Conservation Service, and each county's Planning Commission. Frequently, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of these agencies as well as those of the county directors are noted. In addition, the reports often contain descriptions of the types of conservation practices being used, progress reports, and financial statistics. Many county records contain only scattered reports before the year 1956, and only Lebanon and Lehigh counties include records after 1967.


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