State Board of Agriculture records
The State Board of Agriculture, whose members included the Regents of the University of Maryland, was founded in 1916 as an authority to enforce the laws of the state of Maryland relating to agriculture. The board was abolished in 1972 with the creation of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The collection consists of the administrative records of the board and includes annual reports, forms, pamphlets, and charts documenting animal disease control and the administration of the board.
Important Information for Users of the Collection
This collection is open for research.
State Board of Agriculture records, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
This collection is PROCESSED.
The State Board of Agriculture was founded in 1916 as an authority to enforce the laws of the State of Maryland relating to agriculture. The board's purposes were to supervise the production and distribution of agricultural products with particular attention to sanitation, as well as to oversee the use of fertilizers, chemicals, seeds, and machinery employed in this process. The board was also greatly concerned with controlling/eliminating animal and plant diseases and inn later years, soil preservation and insect control became additional important issues.
The board was divided into specialized departments, such as the Department of Drainage or the Seed Inspection Committee, which oversaw the enforcement of laws and regulations. In addition, these departments investigated specific problemns and published the results of their research in articles and statistical compiliations.
The State Board of Agriculture consisted initially of nine members, all of whom also served as the trustees of the University of Maryland. As the size of the Board of Trustees increased to eleven and later twelve members, so did the membership of the State Board of Agriculture. The positions on this board were unpaid and were held for a term of nine years.
The committee was to report annually to the Maryland General Assembly and, upon request, to the governor. In addition, the board published its annual reports and informational materials for farmers and farm suppliers. From July 1967 until 1972, the board also produced a monthly newsletter entitled "Agricultural Review."
The State Board of Agriculture could claim achievements in many fields. It succeeded in gaining control over the spread of tuberculosis among livestock; consequently Maryland was considered free of tuberculosis by the 1960s. The Farmers' Institutes, first convened in 1917, were annual conferences held by the board to inform farmers about legislation and to instruct them about current agricultural issues. And the mosquito control program was an example of the successful incorporation of communities into the board's programs. Between 1956 and 1967, the board succeeded in increasing the number of participating communities from 82 to 850. This development greatly increased the effectiveness of actions such as spraying, the use of larvicides, and the ditching and filling of marshes to reduce the mosquito population.
The State Board of Agriculture was abolished in 1972 with the creation of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The records of the State Board of Agriculture span the period from 1916 to 1958 and include forms, annual reports, pamphlets and charts. They document animal disease control and the administration of the board. The collection has been arranged as one series of administrative records.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
The records of the State Board of Agriculture were transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in 1972.
Guide revised by Birgit Prelle, October 1989.
The collection was refoldered and reboxed into acid-free materials.
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Dan Schwartz, May 2006. Edited by Malissa Ruffner, December 2008.
Arrangement of Collection
This collection is organized as one series:
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Administrative Records, 1916-1958 (0.25 linear feet)
The records of the State Board of Agriculture cover the years 1916 to 1958; the bulk of the records dates from 1916 and 1917 and is concerned with the control of contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis, in livestock. The files consist of forms, pamphlets, minutes, charts, and annual reports.
Sample forms present in the collection include health certificates or applications and permits to bring out-of-state cattle into Maryland. Pamphlets contain regulations regarding the importation of cattle, disinfection of farm premises, the slaughter of diseased animals, and other means of preventing contagious diseases from spreading.
The minutes document board meetings in 1916 and 1917 dealing with administrative issues such as setting up committees, assigning officers, and appropriating funds and salaries. They also include discussions of health issues such as disease control or the sanitary treatment of milk.
An undated chart, apparently from the board's early years, outlines the structure of the board and its subdivisions.
The annual reports from 1953/54 and 1957/58 publicize the results of the research and inspections done by the various departments. Statistical information is given, e.g. about the use of fertilizers, or the results of egg inspections.
This series has been arranged alphabetically by document type.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Forms, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|Minutes, 1916-1917||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|Organization Chart, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|Regulations, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|Reports, 1953/54 and 1957/58||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
Published records of the State Board of Agriculture may be found in the State Documents Collection in the Maryland Room. This collection also includes a complete run of the board's newsletter, "Agricultural Review, dating from July 1967 to 1972.
Available in the Archives and Manuscripts Department are the records of the Farmer's Institutes, convened by the State Board of Agriculture.
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- Agriculture and state -- Maryland -- Sources
- Maryland -- State Board of Agriculture -- Archives