Interview with John F. Graham, May 9, 1985
Project: University of Kentucky: Extension Service Oral History Project
Interview SummaryJohn F. Graham, a former county agent with UK's extension services, explains how different extension is today from when he started in the field in the 1920s. Graham was born in 1901 in Calloway County, Kentucky. He attended county public schools and graduated from Murray High School in Murray, Kentucky. He earned his B.S. degree in Agriculture from the University of Kentucky. He mentions early experiences with the Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H Club in high school, especially 4-H summer camps, under J. V. Gardner, the first County Agent in Calloway County.
Graham served as Assistant County Agent in Mason and Caldwell Counties in Kentucky, and as County Agent in Caldwell County at UK's Princeton Sub-Station from 1924 until 1947. He talks at length about the conditions in rural areas during the 1920's and 1930s. Graham recalls that the Caldwell County Extension Service was instrumental in developing a rural electrification program in this area.
Graham explains Type 23 fire-cured tobacco was the major source of cash income until the tobacco market collapsed in 1931, and the Eastern Dark-Fired Tobacco Association was formed in 1932. He talks about the early years of the agricultural economy in Kentucky, and emphasizes that the lack of communication, low level of education, reluctance to change, and the "show me" attitude of farmers slowed their early efforts. He describes the Extension's assistance with improvements to the county school system.
Graham recalls that there was no adequate farm credit during the late 1920s, so the Western Kentucky Production Credit Association was formed. Graham was a charter member of the Caldwell County Farm Bureau, which was formed in 1934. Graham talks about the charter meeting in Hopkinsville, Kentucky that established the Production Credit Association. He recalls that the Federal Land Bank was reactivated in 1934, and the Soil Conservation District was organized in Caldwell County in the early 1940's. He talks about the history of UK's Experiment Station at Princeton. Graham also recalls his involvement in professional organizations, describes satisfying and dissatisfying experiences, and mentions his wife, family and church activities. Graham worked for Liberty National Bank and Trust of Louisville, Kentucky from 1952 until he retired in 1967.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Graham, John F. Interview by Mike Duff. 09 May. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Graham, J.F. (1985, May 09). Interview by M. Duff. University of Kentucky: Extension Service Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Graham, John F., interview by Mike Duff. May 09, 1985, University of Kentucky: Extension Service Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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