West Polk County Farm Bureau

In the late 1800s, as diversified farms began to replace large bonanza farms in Minnesota and across the U.S., Polk County farmers realized they needed help. National groups with local branches, like the Farm Bureau, formed to help farmers organize and improve their representation in laws and education. Farmers in the western part of Polk County—a particularly fertile area due to the Red River Valley’s rich topsoil—came to rely on their farm organizations as they adapted to the rising cost of transporting produce to city markets.

Black and white photograph of a class livestock judging, University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul, ca. 1910.

Class livestock judging, University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture

Class livestock judging, University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul, ca. 1910.

Black and white photograph of a class in corn judging, University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul, ca. 1910.

Class in corn judging, University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture

Class in corn judging, University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul, ca. 1910.

Black and white photograph of an Agriculture Extension, Short Course in Blacksmithing; men at the forges, 1908.

Agriculture Extension, Short Course

Agriculture Extension, Short Course in Blacksmithing; men at the forges, 1908.

Black and white photograph of an Agriculture Extension, short course in Blacksmithing; women at the forges, 1908.

Agriculture Extension, short course in Blacksmithing

Agriculture Extension, short course in Blacksmithing; women at the forges, 1908.

Black and white photograph of the University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul, ca. 1903.

University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul

University of Minnesota, College of Agriculture, St. Paul, ca. 1903.

Black and white photograph of a Minnesota farm house, ca. 1890.

Minnesota farm house

Minnesota farm house, ca. 1890.

Black and white photograph of Crescent Grange Hall and members, Linwood Township, Anoka County, 1880.

Crescent Grange Hall and members

Crescent Grange Hall and members, Linwood Township, Anoka County, 1880.

Black and white photograph of a butter-making class, University of Minnesota School of Agriculture, 1889.

Butter-making class, University of Minnesota School of Agriculture

Butter-making class, University of Minnesota School of Agriculture, 1889.

Origins of the University of Minnesota Extension Service

The Agricultural Extension Service of the United States (AES) began as an educational component of land-grant universities. In Minnesota as in other states, the federally funded and organized services of AES provide practical agricultural training to people outside of a university setting.

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