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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
University Archives & Manuscripts - K-State Women
Master Farm Homemakers

The Kansas Master Farm Homemaker (MFH) Guild was formed in 1928, at a time when similar guilds where being formed in 22 other states and Canada. The purpose of the Guild was to give public recognition for excellence in farming, homemaking, farm living, and rural citizenship. Initially the program was sponsored by Farmers' Wife magazine and the Extension Departments of the land Grant Colleges. When Farmers' Wife magazine ceased to exist in 1940, Senator Arthur Capper agreed to sponsor the Guild. After his death, a new sponsor was sought for both the MFH Guild and Master Farmer (MF) Association. In 1953, Kansas State University, through the Division of Extension, assumed sponsorship of the organizations until 1957, when the Kansas Association of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with the Extension Service took over sponsorship.

Beginning with the 1953 class, recognition was given to Master Farm families (husband and wife teams) instead of separate individuals for MF and MFH. The honored couples, two from each extension district, were nominated by committees in their home counties. Their workbooks were compared with those of other nominees in their extension district. Workbooks of district winners were compared to choose state winners. The awards were based on the combined achievements as farmers, good citizens and community leaders. In 1956, the Kansas Extension Service was reorganized into five administrative districts. The number of Master Farm families recognized was reduced to five, one from each district. In 1957, the spouses of awards issued prior to 1953 were offered membership in their respective organizations.

Source of information:

Vertical File. Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemakers

The Kansas Master Farmer-Master Farm Homemaker Records (1934-1984) is divided into 5 series: 1) Chronological files, 1950-1984; 2) Publicity files, 1934-1984; 3) Membership lists, 1927-1979; 4) Rock Springs Ranch, 1964-1971; 5) Printed materials. One of the most interesting aspects of the collection is the printed material series which contains a large number of the worksheets filled out by Master Farm Homemaker candidates. These worksheets contain a wealth of information about daily life on a farm including daily schedules, house plans, typical meals, and specifics about the home and child rearing. The majority of the records are contained in ten boxes, two additional boxes contain photographs of most classes from 1927 to 1984.

12 boxes. Register. Acc. No. U 88.15