The 1930s

Depression-Era Responsibilities

[T]he Extension agent has the same sort of duties and responsibilities that he has always had, those of representing the State Agricultural College and the U. S. Department of Agriculture in assisting farm people with their agricultural and homemaking problems. In the second place, the Extension agent is confronted with the multiplicity of activities required in developing and maintaining the program of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, consisting at the present time of the Agricultural Conservation program, which may apply to any private and state owned farm and range land. Along with these two large responsibilities, the Extension agent is confronted with the third, the largest and most important task, of working with farm people in making sound, long-time plans for the agriculture of the county.


It has been necessary for the Extension agent to train workers to carry a great portion of the responsibility, especially responsibility for the details in efficiently maintaining the current agricultural conservation program. . . Reports of county agents show that 20,402 bulletins and circulars were distributed by them during 1935. The State Extension Office distributed 75,400 bulletins, besides those sent out by the county Extension agents.

Range Livestock Improvement

Once started, the practice [of improving herds through culling] became well established, and with the drastic culling of herds furthered by the Government in 1934, many of the inferior animals in New Mexico were done away with. During the period 1929 to 1935, a total of 4,429 registered or high grade cows was purchased. While beef cattle have taken the lead in the introduction of registered sires and cows, very good results have been obtained with the other species of animals.

Home Industries

In 1930, handicraft work was done in eight counties, interest being particularly strong in rugmaking. Junior clubs were organized and the Indian handicraft work was continued at Zuni, basket weaving being engaged in, as well as pottery. In 1930 an outstanding girl’s 4-H club team from San Miguel county demonstrated the making of a hooked rug at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, using native roots and herbs to wash and dye the yarns.

. . . In 1934 Santa Fe, San Miguel, Rio Arriba, and Taos counties continued to show a lively interest in home industry work with native wool. A considerable amount of such goods was marketed, mainly in Santa Fe. In 1935 the outstanding work in home industries was done in the northern counties of the state as in the three years preceding. San Miguel county carried work in wool, leather, and furniture making; Rio Arriba county reported $1700 worth of blankets and other woolen handicraft sold; and Taos county reported increased interest being taken in all native crafts.

Image of NMSU cooperative Extension Service
Image of NMSU cooperative Extension Service
Image of NMSU cooperative Extension Service
Image of Team Arches
Image of NMSU cooperative Extension Service