Travis County Negro Extension Service Program Photograph Collection

History

Extension services in Texas began in 1915 when the Texas Legislature assigned administration of the Texas Agricultural Extension to Texas A&M University and established the Cooperative Extension Program administered by Prairie View A&M. Because of segregation practices in Texas, African-Americans were served through the Negro Extension Service program. Programming included farm demonstrations, which provided instruction about crop and livestock production, and home demonstrations, which taught skills such as proper canning techniques and home repairs. Youth were served through 4-H clubs.

This collection of photographs documents a variety of services and educational programs, including animal husbandry, crafts, domestic education, gardening and agriculture, and home improvement. Especially well documented is the annual Food and Livestock Show held each year at Rosewood Park. While there are some posed portraits, the majority of the photos are candid snapshots depicting the participants at work in their classes and activities.

Travis County has become a very urban area since the time that these photos were taken, and many of the activities documented, especially the agricultural activities, represent a way of life no longer practiced in this area.



At a Glance