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After more than 40 years of distinguished service in the United States Department of Agri
culture, Doctor True died in Washington, D. C., on April 23. As director of the Office of Experiment Stations, in the period 1893-1915, and as director of the States Relations Service, in the period 1915-1923, Doctor True made notable contributions to the development of agricultural education and research in the United States. During the period from 1923 to the time of his death Doctor True devoted much of his time to the preparation of histories of agricultural education, agricultural extension work, and agricultural research.
To understand the movement which has resulted in the broad development of agricultural education in this country it is necessary that its relation be shown to the general development and progress of science and education and to the background of economic conditions and of organizations of various kinds for the promotion of agriculture and country life. Considerable attention has therefore been given to these matters, particularly as related to the earlier stages of agricultural education. Such a brief outline of collateral material as is included in this work may appear trite and superficial to the experts in these subjects, but it is hoped that it will be useful to students in colleges and schools and to the general readers who may consult this publication. It has not been practicable to give accounts of the development of agricultural education in all the several States and Territories. It has rather been the effort to use details regarding individuals, organizations, and institutions to bring out the various phases of the movement.
Our agricultural colleges have often been unfairly criticized because there has not been a good understanding of the actual organization of agricultural instruction as only a part of the much broader work of the institutions with which it is connected. Failure to recognize the widespread influence which these institutions have had on agricultural progress through their experiment stations and extension work, as well as the promotion of agricultural instruction in secondary and elementary schools, has also led many people to minimize their educational importance. The breadth of the American system of agricultural education therefore has been emphasized.
To give ample space to the history of agricultural research and extension work, however, would have expanded the discussion beyond reasonable limits. It is proposed therefore to prepare separate monographs on these very important features of agricultural education.
Credit for the inception of this publication should be given to the Association of Land-Grant Colleges, through its executive committee, which urged the preparation of such a work, and likewise to Henry C. Wallace, former Secretary of Agriculture, whose approval and encouragement were of the highest value.
The materials for this history have been drawn from a great variety of sources, and often these have been freely used. In many cases it has not been feasible to indicate the source of particular statements, but care has been taken to make the bibliography of works used fairly complete. Special acknowledgment is made of the assistance of F. A. Merrill, specialist in agricultural education, and Miss J. L. Weston, of the Department of Agriculture, in the preparation of this publication, and of Miss C. R. Barnett and Miss E. B. Hawks,