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Country Life Program Collection, 1920 – 1982

Part of an academic service-learning project for Greenley Library

by Sanna Cheema, graduate student, St. John's University.

Finding Aid

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Description

Farmingdale State College, originally designed to accommodate upper-level high school students in agricultural training, was founded in 1912 under the name of "New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island". As such, Farmingdale State College is the oldest public institution of higher education on Long Island. The earliest years of the college were devoted to the technology of farming – both farm crops and dairy and animal husbandry. The early curriculum consisted of courses in agronomy, horticulture, and general studies.

In 1920 the college began a farm equipment show that included the various kinds of machinery that would be used on a farm. That show proved to be quite popular and became an annual event known as the Country Life Open House which continued to improve and expand through the years. Most of the early exhibits and demonstrations centered around farm machinery and field work but as Long Island moved away from an agriculture-based economy, so too did the programs offered by Farmingdale State College. In 1987 the agricultural programs were discontinued (only Ornamental Horticulture remains).

This collection includes materials of permanent significance to the history of Farmingdale State College. The materials date back to the 1930s and include, but are not limited to, photographs, correspondence, memoranda, notes, logistical files, programs, invitations, committee lists, instructions, schedules of events, and other planning documents pertaining to the Country Life Program.

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