Cooperative Extension at LSU


This listening station exhibition, featuring oral histories from LSU Libraries T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, is presented in conjunction with the Hill Memorial Library gallery exhibition, "Cooperative Extension at LSU: Commemorating the Centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914."

The gallery exhibit examines the full scope of Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service activities in Louisiana over the last 100 years. Covering two floors, this exhibition includes photographs, oral histories, published materials, manuscript and archival records, rare books, and ephemera from every major collection including: University Archives, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, Rare Books, and the E. A. McIlhenny Natural History Collection. Selected items highlight the diverse experiences of Louisianans over the past century in rural and urban regions, from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, across age, gender, and socio-economic groups, and cover topics from corn and home demonstration clubs to wetlands research and disaster response.

The oral history listening station includes audio clips and photos from the Center's collections and interviews, many of which were recently conducted as part of a collaborative effort between LSU Libraries, the LSU AgCenter, and the LSU College of Agriculture to document the history of LSU Cooperative Extension. Bill Cochran, Paul Coreil, Gina E. Eubanks, Denver Loupe, William Richardson, and Ken Roberts were interviewed in the spring of 2014 by Wyatt Winnie, Jennifer A. Cramer, and Cristina Caminita. Additional interview clips are from Dorothy Howell and Robert Badon. Together, they share stories about gardening by the Farmer's Almanac, inoculating hogs against cholera, training for home demonstration during the Great Depression, earning money by sewing ladies clothing, the importance of livestock shows and 4-H clubs, the major changes in the past century, and how shrimpers once blocked a channel to protest the Endangered Species Act.