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Ann McCormick, Jackson County's First Home Demonstration Agent   
Monday June 27, 2005
By Dawna Curler

Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson

Growing up at the turn of the last century, Ann McCormick knew two worlds. Raised on a small Oregon farmstead with six siblings, she knew the ways of the old pioneers, but Ann was a 20th century woman and worked to educate other rural ladies, bringing them along with her into modern times.

After graduating from the Oregon Agricultural College, in Corvallis, Ann became, in 1917, the first Extension Service Home Demonstration Agent in Southern Oregon. She organized ten Home Economic Clubs to study home problems. Through demonstrations and lectures, Ann taught farmwomen basic principals of nutrition and scientific methods of canning and drying foods. She encouraged home sanitation by explaining better cleaning methods and offered home accounting and budgeting advice. Of all her accomplishments, she was most proud of starting hot lunch programs in over forty rural schools.

In 1919, Ann moved on to work with new immigrants in the tenements of New York City, and then returned to Extension Service Work in Santa Cruz, California, where she married and raised a family.

Ann McCormick and women like her in other farm communities, pioneered modern domestic farm life. Nearly ninety years later, their work still continues through contemporary Extension Service programs.

Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, the program engineer is Raymond Scully.  I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org

Sources:
Buchanan, Annette (daughter of Ann McCormick) interviewed by Dawna Curler July 3, 2002. Southern Oregon Historical Society Oral History 622; Jackson County Farm Bureau New, January 25, 1919, Vol. 1, No. 1.

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