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Photo of the Week: Feb. 17

Agricultural club members staff a Stanly County Poultry Demonstration Booth in about 1922. Over time, club members would come to be known as 4-H'ers.

Agricultural club members staff a Stanly County Poultry Demonstration Booth in about 1922. Over time, club members would come to be known as 4-H’ers.

As a young extension service in North Carolina began assuming major responsibilities for agricultural fairs being held around the state, boys’ club agent S.G. Rubinow was moved in 1917 to the position of assistant to the director for “agricultural fairs, movable schools and agricultural meetings.”

By that year, Extension educators were working with 207 fairs, compared to 25 just two years earlier. They supplied judges, provided programs and speakers and demonstrated the educational value of the various fairs.

After the pandemic flu cancelled many of the fairs in 1918, they were back in full swing by 1919. Rubinow contended that the fairs gave Extension’s people the chance to meet farmers and their families, promote their work and discuss, exhibit and demonstrate valuable agricultural knowledge. But Rubinow’s position wasn’t shared by everyone in the organization; some condemned the fairs for not representing “our real agricultural interests and developments,” as one specialist contended. “All of its efforts and thoughts seem to hinge around commercialism and midways.”

Despite that debate, N.C. Cooperative Extension has continued its involvement in the fairs in many of the same ways it has since its early days.

Written By

Photo of Dee ShoreDee ShoreMedia Specialist (919) 513-3117 dee_shore@ncsu.eduCALS Communications - NC State University
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