Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


This dissertation studies the conditions which brought the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service (LCES) into existence in 1914 and which have sustained it for over 70 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 40 percent of Russia's population consists of farmers and that approximately 70 percent of China's population are farmers. The significance of these figures in relation to productivity is apparent when contrasted with the United States farm population of 2 percent. The current high level of production in American agriculture, sustained by such a small percentage of the population, is not an accident, as Professor Roy V. Scott, in The Reluctant Farmer: The Rise of Agricultural Extension to 1914, documents. In light of this inverse relation of farm population to productivity and of the role of the Extension Service as the primary government-sponsored development program designed to introduce technological innovations in agriculture, the major objective of this study was to chronicle the extension education philosophies and practices employed by the LCES to bring about these changes in Louisiana. Primary data for the study was obtained through in-depth interviews with past and present employees of the LCES and from original documents. Secondary data was acquired from published information such as memoirs. The last attempt to describe the LCES was made almost 40 years ago by Frederick W. Williamson in Origin and Growth of Agricultural Extension in Louisiana, 1860-1948. Since then, no effort has been made to document extensively the involvement of the LCES in agricultural pursuits. This study sought to rectify this situation. Chapter I contains the introduction with an explanation of the importance of history; Chapter II provides an overview of the social milieu of Louisiana. Chapter III treats the antecedents of the LCES and the LCES itself to 1948. Chapters IV through XV cover the period from 1948 to 1986 and topics such as the Department of Extension and International Education; the Communication Division; Farm Bureau; Agricultural, Home Economics, 4-H and Community Development work; and the Black Experience in the LCES. The evaluation and conclusions are given in Chapter XIV and the future of the LCES in Chapter XV.