Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 493–506 | Cite as

A case study from the post-new deal state agricultural experiment station system: a life of mixed signals in southern Illinois

  • Joanna P. Ganning
  • Courtney G. Flint
  • Stephen Gasteyer
Article

Abstract

A wide literature in the sociology of agriculture has depicted the development of agricultural experiment stations at land grant colleges as part of a development project to improve agricultural productivity in particular commodities. Some experiment stations developed regional agricultural centers or stations to improve productivity and address local concerns, recognizing the importance of context in rural development. Through analysis of one such station, the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in Southern Illinois, this paper describes how regional agricultural stations played a key role in the often conflicting agricultural programs of and following the New Deal. Changes in university structure from the 1970s to present and the current national recession have led to financial crises that have put these stations in a precarious position. Still, we argue that these institutions ought to be recognized as regional resources for a new era of agricultural development, and we suggest approaching that new era by building on the existing literature of community–university partnerships.

Keywords

State agricultural experiment stations Agricultural policy Agricultural engagement Rural policy University–community partnership New Deal 

Abbreviations

AAA

Agricultural Adjustment Act

DSAC

Dixon Springs Agricultural Center

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna P. Ganning
    • 1
  • Courtney G. Flint
    • 2
  • Stephen Gasteyer
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for SustainabilitySaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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