TVA and the Grass Roots: A Study in the Sociology of Formal Organization

By Philip Selznick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
TVA AND THE FARM LEADERSHIP (Continued)

In analyzing the relations between TVA and the extension service, the significant question for you to ask is whether the tail has not begun to wag the dog.

A TVA OFFICIAL ( 1943)

BEFORE SETTING FORTH details of the working relationship between the TVA and the land-grant colleges, a brief review of some important considerations with regard to the agricultural extension services is required.1 While the experiment stations of the colleges are also involved, the extension services have a central role, accounting for the bulk of personnel and funds assigned to the TVA fertilizer and readjustment programs.


CHARACTER OF THE EXTENSION SERVICE

The network of land-grant colleges which now covers the United States originated in the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided for a grant of 30,000 acres of land or its equivalent in scrip to the states for each representative and senator in Congress. This established an endowment fund, the income from which could be used for the support of agricultural colleges. This income, which varied from substantial to negligible, was later increased by grants under the Second Morrill Act, passed in 1890, and subsequent agricultural legislation. The 1890 statute prohibited support under its provisions for colleges whose admission requirements made distinctions on the basis of race or color, but the establishment of separate colleges for white and colored students was acceptable. In all, sixty-nine land-grant colleges and universities have been established, including seventeen Negro institutions.

In 1887 Congress passed the Hatch Act, which provided for federal support of agricultural experiment stations attached to the land-grant colleges, on the basis of annual grants. An Office of Experiment Stations in the U. S. Department of Agriculture has exercised a rather

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1
See especially Gladys Baker, The County Agent ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939); also Lord Russell, The Agrarian Revival: A Study of Agricultural Extension ( New York: Association for Adult Education, 1939); V. O. Key, Administration of Federal Grants to the States ( Chicago: Public Administration Service, 1937); G. A. Works and Barton Morgan, The Land-Grant Colleges, Staff Study No. 10, Advisory Committee on Education ( Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1939).

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