Date of this Version
The educational program of agricultural extension was conducted in Cherry County during 1940 by the Cherry County Extension Service. 329 families and business firms subscribed $1529.15 for support of the work. The county commissioners provided office quarters at a cost of $258.00 for the year. Other income provided $80.00 additional funds making a total operating fund of $1867.15.
Expenditures for the year were $255.00 for office quarters, heat and light, $89.60 finance committee expense, and $1824.14 for conducting the general program.
The program of work directed special emphasis to F-F-L, Beef Cattle, 4-H and Project club work.
Test plats of sorghum varieties showed Leoti as superior to other varieties with a green weight yield of 9.5 tons. This compares with 8 tons for black amber, 7.2 tons for early sumac with other varieties scaling considerably lower. Grain sorghums were again unsuccessful because of early freezing weather.
Results obtained by the Valentine Experiment station do not show enough superiority of hybrid corn over local varieties to justify the added expense.
One good stand of Hardistan alfalfa has survived dry weather and is a profitable seed crop. Experimental seedings of strawberry clover in alkali spots; red top, timothy, red and alsike clovers, reed canary grass in wet meadows; and crested wheat grass for dry abandoned cropland areas are being conducted.
Greater success with the vegetable garden has been reported by 150 farm and ranch homes due to this year's Extension program. Timely help for all gardeners in the county has been given.
Yard beautification improvements were made in not less than 400 yards at the homes of Cherry County ranchers, farmers, and townspeople, as a result of the attention given to this phase of the Extension program during 1940. Records were made of some of these improvements. 89 homes followed recommendations for planting shrubs and trees. 98 homes planted new lawns or improved existing lawns according to recommendations made. 69 homes corrected walks, drives, and fences to improve the appearance of their home yards. 80 new yard fences were constructed. 50 yard fences were changed. 88 unsightly views were screened with hedges or constructed screens. 286 homes reported a general clean-up on their yards. These records were obtained as a part of the yard beautification demonstration for project clubs. In addition it is known that many other improvements were made of which no records were taken.
52 cooperators planted 23,700 Clarke-McNary seedlings to form windbreaks. 113 farmers planted trees as a part of their compliance with the Agricultural Conservation cropland program on 335 acres of windbreak. 81 homemakers reported planting trees for erosion control as a part of the home demonstration program for women's project clubs. 75 homes in the town of Valentine cooperated with a plan developed by the Junior Chamber of Commerce to stimulate interest in tree planting. There is some duplication in these reports obtained through the above mentioned sources. It is conservatively estimated that 265 different plantings of trees were made during 1940. This number compares with 140 for 1939 when estimated on the same basis.
108 homes were repaired. Major repairs were made in 8 homes; 1 water system was installed; 2 light plants placed; 2 poultry houses constructed; 1 complete new barn constructed; built-in kitchen cabinets were installed in 2 homes; 1 house was remodeled; copies were made of a feature of 40 hay equipment machines; 21 chicken feeders and mail boxes were completed as 4-H projects. 4 meadows were drained; 1 meadow and 5 garden irrigation systems were installed. These reports of accomplishments are listed as those definitely assisted by the Extension program during 1940.
Help with poultry rations was extended to 68 turkey growers and a few chicken growers. Regular monthly turkey bulletins prepared at the state office in Lincoln were forwarded by this office to the turkey growers in the county.
38 farm security clients were given assistance to increase production and improve the quality of milk and cream.
The county fair, a spring and fall show sponsored by the Northwest Hereford Breeders' Association, a district calf show at Mullen serving the south part of Cherry County, were exhibits for competitive quality improvement. These were the methods employed to bring to the attention of ranchers in the county the possibilities for beef cattle herd improvement. Nearly every rancher in the county was given information concerning control of Bang's Disease, hemorrhagic, and such specific troubles as calf diptheria, foul foot, retention of urine, grass tetany, white scours, and blackleg. Office interviews, discussion meetings, and circular mailings were the methods used. Assistance to the Sandhills Feeder Cattle Producers' Association and other livestock organizations in the county was given both by the state office and the county Extension office. With over 42,000 head of feeder cattle, and the offerings of purebred breeders, it is estimated that the total value of livestock sold by individuals participating in these organizations is in excess of $3,500,000.00 for 1940. Rations and feeding practices came under discussion in office interviews, at meetings, and at farm and ranch visits. Soybean cake vs. cottonseed cake as a source of protein was given particular attention. Our recommendations were that soybean cake should be fed in preference to cottonseed cake when the latter is $4.00 or more per ton higher in price than the former. When soybean cake is fed, phosphorus mineral should be offered ad lib.
Sheep feed requirements for wintering, care of the ewe at lambing time, stomach worm control, and wool marketing information was given to 90 sheep growers in the county.
77 farmers and ranchers cooperated in the 1940 Pasture-Forage-Livestock program. Each contributed an outline of his methods. This program was conducted as a research or study of management methods as found on the ranches when visited.
243 weekly news stories concerning the Extension program in Cherry County were submitted to all or a part of 5 newspapers published in the county, and 6 published at stations outside the county borders. 55 circular letters announcing events or discussing subject matter were mailed. 1926 personal letters were written from the county office.
409 ladies enrolled in 31 project clubs for the year 1939-1940. Training centers for leaders were conducted at Valentine, Merriman, Gordon, Hyannis, Mullen, and Thedford. 15 clubs were represented at the Valentine Center, 7 at Merriman, 4 at Gordon, 3 at Hyannis, and 3 at Mullen. At Thedford, members from Cherry County enrolled in Thomas County clubs. The demonstrations given this year were Read for Facts and Sing for Fun, Company Dinners, Merry Christmas for the Home, Table Service, Care and Repair of Walls and Floors, and The Livable Home.
21 4-H clubs were organized. 104 boys and 70 girls enrolled for 196 projects. In addition 29 associate members enrolled for as many projects. Of these associate members enrolled 13 were boys and 16 were girls. 62 boys and 39 girls finished their projects as achievement members. In addition 13 associate members earned achievement certificates.
The county Extension office was given charge of the 4-H, handicraft, floral, project club, foods and needlework divisions of the exhibit section of the county fair. Assistance was given by the Extension leaders in the crops and poultry divisions and in a general livestock exhibit.
22 communities participated in programs of entertainment, recreation, and discussion of timely economic topics. A series of 16 such community gatherings in 14 communities was conducted during the fall. The title "Community Roundups" was coined to designate a type of these special community events. A total attendance of 3700 was recorded for the events both spring and fall. In addition 4 project club achievement days with an attendance of 727; 2 rural youth meetings with an attendance of 300, and 1 recreation meeting sponsored by the Kennedy community with an attendance of over 100, were conducted.
The question of "Shall an appropriation be made annually from the general fund of the county for the support of Agricultural Extension work?" received approval at the November 5 election. The final canvass of ballots totaled 2399 for and 1655 against. This method of financing will be much simpler than the method followed heretofore of soliciting for volunteer subscriptions. It will remove much of the difficulties which have confronted the directors and called for a great deal of their attention. This change will also eliminate the need for constant attention to finances by the office personnel.