Page images

agriculture. In major legislation such as the Hatch, Adams, Purnell, and Bankhead-Jones Acts, the Secretary of Agriculture issued carefully considered policy letters (reproduced in the appendix of this text), which served as the basic interpretation of Federal requirements in the administration of payments to the stations. As pointed out in the section on publications, the Office of Experiment Stations and its successor during the 1950's, the State Experiment Stations Division, Agricultural Research Service, used these basic interpretations for the preparation of detailed outlines of procedure to help meet the legal requirements. At the time of this writing, the manual governing procedures is Federal Legislation, Rulings, and Regulations Affecting the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Miscellaneous Publication No. 515, revised in January 1959.

The record of the rules and regulations issued by the Department of Agriculture concerning grant fund administration attests to the cooperative approach followed by the Department over the years. In the face of basic legislation that provides ample authority, Federal administrators of the grant funds have adhered rigorously to the doctrine that their part in the agricultural experiment station program is one of participation rather than that of direction. Although the Department is charged with responsibility for seeing that funds are spent as intended by the Congress, this function is largely carried on in the form of advice and assistance to the Directors of the individual stations, the legally responsible authorities within the framework of their own State governments. The Department's cooperative relationships to the experiment station enterprise are enhanced through frequent contact between ESCOP and the Federal-grant administrators and through annual reviews made by technical leaders of the work at the stations, through comprehensive reviews of Federal-grant research, and through participation in planning of regional research. But the Department's role in administering station research funds of Federal origin always has been and continues to be interpreted primarily as one of service.

The tie that has bound the stations and the Department into cooperative relationship is that of Federal appropriations. Moneys for Federal-grant payments to the States have always been a part of the Department budget. In his talk, given in 1928 before the 42d annual convention of the Association, Dean and Director J. J. Hills of the College of Agriculture, University of Vermont (20), credited Henry E. Alvord, at one time President of the University of Maryland, with the “successful attempt to secure passage of the first Hatch Act appropriation;" with being instrumental “in securing the Hatch appropriation item with the House Committee on Agriculture thus making it automatically an item in the annval budget of the Department of Agriculture, a precedent which has carried with all subsequent appropriations; with securing for the first time quarterly advance payments of Federal funds, now a common practice;" and with helping “loosen up the Post Office franking regulations in respect to station publications."

In the late 1920's, at the request of the Association, Congress provided the U.S. Bureau of Education with a grant to make a 2-year survey of the activities of the land-grant institutions. When Dr. Arthur J. Klein, in overall charge of the survey, unveiled a manuscript copy of the survey before the annual association convention in 1930 (24), he commented concerning agricultural research:

... We have collected and presented in easily intelligible form, typical examples of the actual money value of research in the agricultural field, and presented this information in such fashion that I am sure it can be used by you and the experiment stations in a most effective manner in securing better understanding of what research means to the States and to your institutions themselves. I do not believe that anywhere or ever there has been collected and presented in such clear form such a demonstration of the actual values of research in the agricultural field .

The 72-year partnership between State Agricultural Experiment Stations and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has indeed been one of family growth. At a seminar of Land-Grant College and University administrators held at Fort Collins, Colorado, on June 26, 1961, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Frank J. Welch said: 11

In no area may we claim a closer and more continuous relationship between the Land-Grant Colleges and Universities and USDA than in agricultural research. Since the very beginning the Federal and State systems have been united in a common quest of scientific knowledge for "agricultural improve ment.” ... The fact that science in the United States has now become the major influence in our way of life is attributable in no small degree to the early development of Federal-State agricultural research.

Adherence by USDA leaders to a policy of conscientious "participation without control” of experiment station research has stimulated quality research in the Department as well as in the States. The original architect of that policy was Dr. Alfred C. True, from 1889 on the right-hand man of Dr. Atwater, the first Director of the Office of Experiment Stations, and from 1893 to 1914 its Director and subsequent Chief. Closely associated with True, who was by profession an educator rather than a scientist, was Dr. Edwin W. Allen, a graduate in agricultural chemistry at Massachusetts Agricultural College and at Göttingen, Germany. Both had taken part in most of the conventions of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges since it was founded in 1887, following passage of the Hatch Act.

The final chapter of their personal influence and leadership in directing the growth of agricultural research is written dramatically in two memorial tributes that appear in the Proceedings of the 43d Annual Convention (2, 21). Dr. True had died in March of that year, 1929. Dr. Allen had come to the convention prepared to read a memorial tribute to Dr. True. But on the evening prior to opening of the convention, he died unexpectedly.

As they passed from the scene, the esteem of their colleagues was fittingly expressed in Dr. Allen's tribute to Dr. True, read by Director J. L. Hills, and in Dr. Hill's tribute to Dr. Allen.

Also, these tributes provide those seeking to understand present-day policies of Federal-State relationships in research with a background of two men who had much to do with bringing about these policies.

Following the death of Dr. E. W. Allen, Chief of the Office of Experiment Stations in 1929, leadership in the Office was on an acting basis. On September 16, 1931, Director James T. Jardine of the Oregon Experiment Station was named Chief. He combined the qualities of able scientist with a broad background of successful experimentstation administration. He had served for a number of years on


Meeting the Nation's Science and Educational Goals—A Challenge to the USDA-Land-Grant College System, mimeographed statement by Frank J. Welch, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, before the Seminar on Implications of Agricultural Adjustments for Land-Grant College Administrators, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, June 26, 1961.

ESCOP along with the late Chief, Dr. Allen, and had much to do with development of the Project Outline.

Considering the many demands for action programs during the 1930's, the competition for research support, and the need for maintaining the sound principles that had made scientific research in agriculture so productive for nearly 50 years, the agricultural experiment stations were fortunate in the appointment of Dr. Jardine. While Director of the Oregon Experiment Station, Jardine had been active in the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities and served as chairman of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy from 1927 to 1931. Upon becoming Chief, Jardine worked to bring about closer cooperative relationships between the research agencies of the Department and the States. Following passage of the Bankhead-Jones Act of 1935, he initiated the organization under which nine (originally eight) regional laboratories are administered by different research branches of the Department in close cooperation with State experiment stations.

“The nine regional Bankhead-Jones laboratories,” Dr. R. W. Trullinger, who succeeded Jardine as Chief of the Office in 1946, said at the time of the latter's death in 1954, "stand as lasting monuments to the spirit of close State and Federal relationships in scientific agricultural research and development, a spirit that was nurtured and encouraged throughout his lifetime by James T. Jardine." 12

Trullinger, who had joined USDA'S OES staff in 1912 and for many years engaged in the organization, planning, and conduct of research on soils, drainage, fertilizers, and agricultural engineering, was named Jardine's successor in 1946. In 1947, he was appointed to serve also as Assistant Research Administrator of the Agricultural Research Administration. At the time of his retirement, May 27, 1955, Administrator Byron T. Shaw, USDA's Agricultural Research Administrator, paid this tribute to Trullinger: 13

A leading advocate of close cooperation between the States and the Federal Government in agricultural research, and between research and extension work for the improvement of the Nation's agriculture, Dr. Trullinger has had a distinguished career of 43 years' service in the Department. He is widely known at State land-grant colleges and universities throughout the country, both for his work with experiment stations and for his leadership in establishing agricultural engineering as a profession.

Dr. E. C. Elting, who had joined the OES staff in 1936 as experiment station administrator in the area of dairy science, succeeded Trullinger as ARS Assistant Administrator for Experiment Stations when the latter retired in 1955. Concurrently with Elting's appointment, the position was changed to that of Deputy Administrator for Experiment Stations. Before becoming a member of OES, Elting had become recognized for outstanding dairy research at the Missouri and South Carolina Experiment Stations. He had been named Assistant Chief of OES in 1946 and Associate Chief in 1948. Under Trullinger he served for a year as ARS Deputy Assistant Administrator for Experiment Stations. Dr. H. C. Knoblauch, who had joined the

12 James T. Jardine, 1881-1954, a mimeographed memorial statement issued at the time of Dr. Jardine's death, October 24, 1954, by R. W. Trullinger, Chief, Office of Experiment Stations.

USDA Press Release 1348–55, May 27, 1955.


office technical staff as a soil scientist in 1940, became Director of the newly-established Division of ARS in 1954.

When he was named Chief of the Office of Experiment Stations in 1931, James T. Jardine reported to the Director of Scientific Work. In addition to continuing as Chief of the Office, Jardine in 1936 was made Director of Research for USDA, which position he held until December 1941. As Director of Research he had reported to the Secretary of Agriculture. This arrangement continued until 1942 when the Secretary of Agriculture established the Agricultural Research Administration. After 1942, the Chief of the Office reported to the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Administration, the name of which was changed to Agricultural Research Service by Secretary's Memorandum No. 1320, Supplement 4, November 2, 1953.


Following the reorganization of 1953, the Department's research activities followed somewhat the recommendations of the Task Force Report on Agriculture Activities of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (28). Those recommendations placed all USDA research under a research administrator, with two assistant administrators, one of whom would be responsible for State relations. The Chairman of the Task Force was Dean and Director H. P. Rusk of Illinois, at the time also a member of ESCOP. The Vice Chairman was Dean and Director William H. Martin of New Jersey, at the time Chairman of ESCOP.

Neither the majority of ESCOP nor its parent association accepted the reorganization of 1953 with complete satisfaction. During the spring meeting of 1951, ESCOP had already named a special Subcommittee on Reorganization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.14 With authorization of the Executive Committee, this special subcommittee commended the historic effectiveness of the Office of Experiment Stations and strongly recommended the continuation of the organizational processes developed by that Office. In 1954, the Senate of the Association (15) adopted a resolution prepared by the special committee which set forth that “the agency designated by the Secretary to administer Federal-grant funds for research should be in a position to deal directly with the Secretary, the agencies under his administration, other departments of the Government, and the State agricultural experiment stations."

The resolution, later approved and accepted by the Senate of the Association, concluded:

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RECOMMENDED to the Secretary of Agriculture that (1) the Office of Experiment Stations be designated as the responsible agency within the Department of Agriculture to administer Federal-grant funds for research to the States; (2) the principal officer be designated as the Administrator, Office of Experiment Stations; and (3) the Administrator of the Office of Experiment Stations report directly to the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Federal-States Relations.

The special committee and members of ESCOP continued to confer with Department officials, reiterating the position previously presented. During the 1955 convention, Dean H. Macy of the Institute of Agriculture, University of Minnesota, presented for the Associa

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

tion's Division of Agriculture a lengthy report on development (16). Dean Macy reported visits and contacts with departmental officials during 1955. Letters of the Under Secretary and of the Assistant Secretary for Federal-States Relations were cited, indicating the Department's belief in the then current organization. The report included reference to a meeting which had been held in Assistant Secretary Ervin L. Peterson's office in April, and a letter sent by him to Director A. D. Weber of Kansas, Chairman of ESCOP. In that letter Peterson, while defending the reorganization, said:

I want to make it perfectly clear that on all matters of broad policy the experiment station directors either individually or collectively have had, and now have, full access to the Secretary's office to discuss any policy matters which may be of interest or concern to them.

Dean Macy's report also cited action taken on November 2, 1955, by Administrator B. T. Shaw of ARS, creating the position of Deputy Administrator for Experiment Stations in ARS, and setting up an organizational chart for the Office of the Director, State Experiment Stations Division. The report, however, resulted in the following action of the Association:

In view of the action taken by the Department of Agriculture during the past year, we reaffirm for the record of the Association our stand of a year ago.

Those who are familiar with the historical position taken by the experiment station directors since founding of the stations will recognize the consummation of a persistent effort on their part on reading Memorandum No. 1462, issued by Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman on July 19, 1961. It announced the intention to establish a Cooperative State Experiment Station Service.15 The first paragraph of item 2 reads as follows:

It is believed that the administration of these functions by a separate service in the Department will give these programs their rightful place in the Department structure and will place the administration of the Act in its proper perspective in relation to the other research of the Department and cooperative relationship between the land-grant colleges and the United States Department of Agriculture. Such reorganization will strengthen and improve the total agricultural research program carried on in the States.

In a press release issued on September 1, 1961,16 announcing the order establishing the new Service, Secretary Freeman said:

The Department of Agriculture and the Land-Grant Colleges and Universities have had a long and historic relationship in scientific research. This action should be an incentive toward meeting agriculture's scientific needs.

The release pointed out that establishment of the new Service places the research program of the State experiment stations on a basis equal to other research programs of the Department, with the Administrator of the Service reporting directly to the Assistant Secretary for Federal-State Relations. The Service is subject to the coordination of research activities which are assigned to the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service. The release announced that Dr. George A. Selke, after an extended educational career, including service as staff member of the Minnesota Department of Education and the University of Minnesota, President of St. Cloud College, Chancellor of the University of Montana, and Chief of the Division

15 Secretary's Memorandum No. 1462, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary, Washington 25, D.C., Issued July 19, 1961.

18 USDA Press Release 2837, Sept. 1, 1961.

« PreviousContinue »