Page images
PDF
EPUB

moreover, that the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations favored a consolidated act, and that the Department of Agriculture currently was studying the proposition. The Department's draft of a "Consolidation Act” soon appeared, and circulated among the directors for review and comment. ESCOP in October of 1949 anproved the proposed bill with minor modifications. Thereupon the Legislative Subcommittee of ESCOP considered the proposed bill with legal representatives of the Department of Agriculture.

The movement for consolidated legislation did not, however, gather significant momentum prior to 1954. ESCOP in November of that vear received from its Legislative Subcommittee a draft of the favored form for a consolidated bill.5 Early in 1955, two bills, H.R. 5562 and H.R. 6851. were introduced in the House of Representatives and S. 1759 was introduced in the Senate. Each bore an identical title: "A Bill to Consolidate the Hatch Act of 1887 and laws supplementary thereto relating to the appropriation of Hatch funds for the support of agricultural experiment stations in the States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico."

[ocr errors]

OBJECTIVES OF CONSOLIDATED LEGISLATION

6

The Station Committee in April 1955, studied the features of the several bills submitted for Congressional action. ESCOP noted with satisfaction the many merits of the proposed legislation, and it approved the following objectives of the intended measure: 6

1. To reduce the number of different operating funds and thereby the number of "sets” of accounting from six to two.

2. To preserve all requirements on existing fund equivalent.
3. To retain the existing pattern of distribution among the several States.

4. To remove restrictions as now imposed by the Adams fund which prohibit use for printing and distribution of results of research ; limits purchase or rent of land, erection and repair of buildings to 5 percent of the fund.

5. To place all Federal-grant funds for the State Experiment Stations under uniform rules and requirements of administration and authorization as to use.

6. To introduce no new provision not now contained in the Federal-grant authorizations.

7. To preserve the "open-end” feature of the Research and Marketing Act.

8. To remove the 20-percent marketing requirement on increases above the equivalent of fiscal 1955 appropriation. This is believed desirable since

(a) very substantial expansion in marketing research has been made in the States since 1946 ;

(b) much of the further increase in this field can best be done by USDA directly, or by contact with the States; and

(c) further continuation of the requirement (20 percent) against future increases would lead to imbalance of research in the States.

(d) Title II. The proposed legislation, highly satisfactory to station men, moved without mishap through Congress.? The House Committee introduced

3

4

6

Minutes of Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy, Washington, D.C., May 3, 4, and 5, 1949.

Minutes of meeting of Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy, Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 22, 1949.

Minutes of meeting of Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy, Washington, D.C., Nov. 13–17, 1954.

* Minutes of Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy, Washington, D.C., April 27–28, 1955.

A detailed analysis of existing legislation and changes to accomplish consolidated legislation is presented in House of Representatives Report No. 1298, 84th Congress, 1st Session (10) and Senate Calendar No. 568, Report No. 563,

[ocr errors]

only one amendment to the final consolidation bill. The Committee (12) explained its action as follows:

The only amendment to the bill made by the committee is the insertion on page 5 of a paragraph which will require that experiment stations continue to use 20 percent of their available appropriations for marketing research. Under the provisions of the bill as it passed the Senate, the present require ment of law that 20 percent of each State's allotment be used for marketing research would have applied only up to the level of appropriations for the fiscal year 1955. Appropriations beyond that level would not have been subject to this requirement. The committee is aware of the position of some of the State officials with respect to this requirement and has been informed that in the past some experiment stations have apparently found difficulty in developing sufficient marketing research projects to utilize 20 percent of their allotted funds. Notwithstanding, the committee believes that the present agricultural situation, with surpluses plaguing the producers of many commodities, is a clear indication of the need for continued emphasis on marketing of agricultural products and the research connected therewith.

The Senate accepted the House amendment, and on August 11, 1955, approved Public Law 352, known as The Hatch Act (11). This act resulted from 15 years of activity on the part of the Bureau of the Budget, Department of Agriculture, the State Experiment Stations, and Committees of Congress. This lengthy legislative process demonstrated once again that station spokesmen, firmly insistent on the continuing values of their system, may rely on the understanding support of their Federal Government. This democratic process proved once more the necessity for leadership and constructive cooperation between Federal and State officials in improving the fiscal practices fundamental in the attainment of the goal of scientific research.

LITERATURE CITED

(1) CARPENTER, L. G. 1907. (REMARKS ON KIND AND CHARACTER OF WORK UNDER THE ADAMS

ACT.] Assoc. Amer. Agr. Cols. and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1906) 20:

106–107. (U.S. Dept. Agr., Off. Expt. Sta. Bul. 184.) (2) Dodson, W. R. 1909. (RELATION OF THE STATION TO INSTRUCTION.) Assoc. Amer. Agr.

Cols. and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1908) 22:106–112. (3) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE ASSOCIATION. 1928. REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON EXPERIMENT STATION ORGANIZATION AND

POLICY. Assoc. Land-Grant Cols. and Univs. Proc. (1927) 41:

196-199. (4) 1940. REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON EXPERIMENT STATION ORGANIZATION AND

POLICY. Assoc. Land-Grant Cols. and Univs. Proc. 54: 281–282. (5) 1941. CONSOLIDATION OF FEDERAL RESEARCH LEGISLATION. (In Report

of Committee on Experiment Station Organization and Policy.)

Assoc. Land-Grant Cols, and Univs. Proc. 55 : 287–288. (6) GUTERMAN, C. E. F. 1942. FEDERAL GRANTS TO THE STATE AGRICULTRAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS.

(Abstract.) Assoc. Land-Grant Cols. and Univs. Proc. 56: 127128.

84th Congress, 1st Session (11). Hearings before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Research and Extension of the Committee on Agriculture, on July 8, 1955, published in Miscellaneous Hearings of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, 84th Congress, Serial DD, pages 25–67 (12) gives a comprehensive record of the objectives and needs for consolidated legislation. See also the comments (pp. 63–67) of Congressman H. A. Dixon of Utah, a former Land-Grant College president, who actively supported the legislation.

(7) JORDAN, W. H. 1907. [REMARKS ON KIND AND CHARACTER OF WORK UNDER THE ADAMS

ACT.] Assoc. Amer. Agr. Cols. and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1906)

20: 109–110. (U.S. Dept. Agr., Off. Expt. Sta. Bul. 184.) (8) TRUE, A. C. 1907. ADMINISTRATION OF THE ADAMS ACT. U.S. Dept. Agr., Off. Expt.

Stas. Ann. Rpt. 1906: 66–67. (9) 1907. REMARKS ON KIND AND CHARACTER OF WORK UNDER THE ADAMS ACT.

Assoc. Amer. Agr. Cols. and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1906) 20 : 103–105,

110–111. (U.S. Dept. Agr., Off., Expt. Stas. Bul. 184.) (10) 1908. WORK UNDER THE ADAMS ACT. U.S. Dept. Agr., Off., Expt. Stas.

Ann. Rpt. 1907 : 62–63 (11) UNITED STATES CONGRESS 1955. PUBLIC LAW 352. AN ACT TO CONSOLIDATE THE HATCH ACT OF

1887 AND LAWS SUPPLEMENTARY THERETO RELATING TO THE APPROPRIATION OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE SUPPORT OF AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS IN THE STATES, HAWAII, AND PUERTO RICO.

(U.S. Congress, 84th, 1st Sess., Ch. 790, S. 1759.) (12) UNITED STATES CONGRESS, HOUSE. 1955. THE CONSOLIDATION OF AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS AP

PROPRIATIONS. Report No. 1298, 44 pp. (U.S. Congress, 84th,

1st Sess.) (13) U.S. OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS. 1907. REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON EXPERIMENT STATION ORGANIZATION AND

POLICY. Assoc. Amer. Agr. Cols. and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1906)

20: 74–78. (14) 1908. REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON STATION ORGANIZATION AND POLICY. U.S.

Dept. Agr. Off. Expt. Stas. Circ. 82, 10 pp.

5 pp.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

The purpose of this chapter is to relate the history of marketing research at the agricultural experiment stations during the period 1940–60 and to note the policies and activities of the experiment station directors and their committees. The story of the stations in these two decades cannot be told, however, without considering the economic conditions of agriculture; the scope, content, and objectives of marketing research; and the origin, provisions, and purposes of the legislation supporting that research. Accordingly, this treatment attempts the following four objectives: (1) To relate the main events and the currents of interest producing the legislation enacted in 1946 to provide increased support for research, especially marketing research, in both the State agricultural experiment stations and the Department of Agriculture; (2) to outline some of the main purposes and provisions of the legislation of 1946; (3) to indicate the nature of the cooperative administration of the marketing program financed in whole or in part by Federal-grant funds at the experiment stations; and (4) to discuss briefly the nature, content, and trends of research programs currently conducted at the stations.

Farmers, their organizations, their representatives in Congress, and the public agencies serving them have shown keen interest in marketing and its related problems from the time a public policy for agriculture first emerged. The concern with market outlets, market efficiency, and prices and incomes of farmers assumed new dimensions, however, in the 1920's when agriculture failed to recover fully from the post-World War I collapse in prices. This period saw the establishment of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the formation or strengthening of the Departments of Agricultural Economics in the land-grant colleges and experiment stations, and the passage of the Purnell Act by Congress in 1925 (5). This legislation, providing for the more complete endowment of research at the agricultural experiment stations, stressed the importance of undertaking more studies in the economic problems of agriculture, including marketing and prices.

MORE EFFICIENT MARKETING NEEDED

The great depression and the virtual prostration of much of agriculture during the 1930's dramatized the dilemma of overabundant production and low farm prices in a world where millions were hungry and poorly clothed. Policymakers and analysts sought a better understanding of agricultural-industrial interrelationships; of the differential behavior of farm prices and industrial prices during prosperity and depression; and of demand, supply, and price interrelationships for farm products in order to devise policies which would extend specific aids to agriculture and revive the economy.

1 Italic numbers in parentheses refer to Literature Cited, p. 189.

By the end of the decade, both agriculture and the general economy had shown some improvement. Nevertheless, new technology had increased the farmers' ability to produce a larger output which could only be disposed of at prices resulting in incomes markedly lower than those received by persons of comparable skill in other sectors of the economy. Governmental price-support programs, although expensive to taxpayers, afforded only limited relief to farmers, and consumers complained of high food costs at the retail level. The belief grew that a special research effort might be both necessary and justified to provide the basis for more efficient marketing practices.

In the early 1940's Congressional action reflected the strongly felt need that public agencies should give more attention to marketing problems. The lawmakers in March 1941 held hearings on the Cooley bill (H.R. 1382) which, having already passed the Senate, authorized annual appropriations of $5 million for apportionment among the various

State departments of agriculture. The Experiment Stations Committee on Policy (ESCOP) at its Chicago meeting in November 1940 strongly opposed the Cooley bill on the ground that it would encourage duplication of functions already exercised by the agricultural experiment stations and extension services. ESCOP further recommended that the legislation ought to provide for a clear differentiation among the three agencies and allocate Federal funds only when the agencies agreed to a coordinated plan in which all would participate (1, pp. 63-64). This position, with which the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP) agreed, reiterated the decision made at an earlier joint meeting in Roanoke of the station and extension committees on policy.

The House Committee thereupon refused to report the Cooley bill. ESCOP, ECOP, and the Land-Grant College Association accordingly formulated a substitute proposal. The Land-Grant college proposal provided for allotments by the Secretary of Agriculture to the State departments of agriculture, State extension services, State agricultural experiment stations, and State colleges of agriculture (teaching).

COOPERATIVE WORK PLANNED

Certain provisions merit special mention. Total appropriations to all four lines of activity were to be apportioned among the States on a formula basis, taking into account farm population, total population, and gross farm income. All Federal funds above $10,000 were to be matched, and provision was made for regional research. The early draft of the bill provided, as ESCOP had urged, that the State departments of agriculture, agricultural experiment stations, and extension services must, in order to qualify for an allotment of funds, prepare a plan for cooperative work. When approved by the

'Mr. Edward A. O'Neal, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, had an equivalent bill inserted into the Record in the course of the hearings on the Cooley bill. In his testimony he supported the station position, outlined the activities of the experiment stations and extension services in the marketing field, and emphasized that only a lack of funds had prevented further action (1, 50-64c.)

« PreviousContinue »