Soil Conservation Service in Schoharie County, 1942

In 1942, the goal of the Soil Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture was to help our county’s farmers attain maximum sustainable agricultural productivity to aid the war effort. This Federal Program was to be adopted by local county services to avoid the appearance of Big Brother in agricultural communities.

In New York State, Schoharie was the first county to ask for the Soil Conservation Service assistance, and Cora Utter was sent to Schoharie’s fledgling Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Now, on the 70th anniversary of this pioneer program, Brenda Weaver discusses those early days with Cora, and covers the County Board of Supervisors who initiated this successful test, the early SWCD personnel who carried the word thoughout the area, area cooperators (the progressive farmers who adopted this new program to the benefit of their own farms and the county), and the techniques that so improved agriculture in the mid-twentieth century.

Click audio player below to listen to the discussion now, or download audio file (60MB mp3).