In the late 1950s, Gilbert Jaeger was the county farm agent for Knox and Lincoln counties in Maine (farm agents were later known as “extension agents”, for the USDA Cooperative Extension Service which has coordinated their work since its creation in 1914). This was an area made up of blueberry, chicken and dairy farms. Because of the state’s long winters, planting often cannot get under way until late spring, and the soils in midcoast Maine can be challenging. For these reasons, many farmers at the time raised cows and chickens since the region was not well suited to large scale vegetable production, or “truck farming”.
Jaeger’s area covered a radius of 50 miles, in which there were 3400 farmers. He saw about 1000 farmers and drove about 10,000 miles doing this; 60% of his work was in the field and 40% in the office. His work was financed by state and federal government funds, as well as by the local farm bureau.Browse Images