Wednesday, March 30, 2016

USDA Yearbooks-Complete Collection

While Google helps to find many answers, it couldn't give me the first name of Mr. Folsome who followed Sy Pranger as the USDA Director of the Personnel back in the late '70's. After exhausting other sources, I went to my USDA Yearbooks. I didn't find it there either but decided the Yearbooks would make a good blog page. The first one was published for 1894 and the final one in 1993. 1943-1947 was combined in one book during WWII as was '50-'51. I have copies of the full collection. The early editions provided farmers with everything from "grain smuts" to making kerosene insecticides. I became acquainted with the books soon after beginning employment with the Agency in 1948. The 1938 book, "Soils and Man", became a classic. So to have '48 Grass, '49 Trees, '55 Water and "100 years" in '62. These five have been the ones most useful to me as reference books. 
While some of the books were bought in used book stores, most of them were provided by members of Congress. As the number of farmers declined, the books were directed more to urban people with such subjects as "Gardening for Food and Fun", "A Place to Live", etc. I didn't get serious about the collection until it was announced that the 1993 book on Nutrition would be the last. It was also about the time that they were being listed on eBay which I utilized in completing and then improving my collection. There was a 3-shelf Mission style bookcase on an Auction that I bought about that same time, that is just the perfect size to hold the collection. It may not compare in dollar value with a Gun collection but the cost/benefit ratio for me, has been much greater. 

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