THE MERE ANNOUNCEMENT that I had the job of the first paid county agricultural agent caused much interest in two places. The first place was among the regional boosters of the state of Connecticut. It seemed to them to be an infringement upon the good name of Connecticut to have to hire a young man from Massachusetts to improve the farming methods in New London County. The other commotion took place in the faculty of the Massachusetts Agricultural College. I had to start on the job immediately and so had to leave before I had fully completed my senior year. A number of my professors balked and were not going to agree to granting me a degree. Protocol in academic life is rigid, even in an agricultural college, and I wasn't going to be graduated. But Professor Hart, who had encouraged me to go down to New London, and Dr. John McLean, who had been my professor in animal husbandry, stood fast by my side. This job, they said, was an honor. It was a new one and an important one and the faculty of the Massachusetts Agricultural College ought to be glad that a Massachusetts boy was chosen for it. They further maintained that other professors ought to show their pride and trust in me by waiving the requirements. There was a good deal of heated discussion and nay-saying, but in the end those good men won their fight for me and I was graduated and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.
Upon assuming my duties as agent for the New London County Improvement League I was put under the supervision of Profes