On the lower level, “Growing Season” focuses on the growth and encouragement of women in agriculture and food production at MA Agricultural College (MAC or “Mass Aggie,” the precursor to UMass Amherst) from the 1910s through the 1930s. With growing local food supply issues from 1900-20 due to World War I and population movement from farms to cities, MAC started special and short course programs that engaged women in practical agriculture, like gardening, fruit growing, dairying and also rural social services and home economics. The growing Extension Service program reached out to rural and farm community members with instructional workshops and pamphlets.
On display in Special Collections and University Archives, floor 25, are collections that reflect women and food production, including cookbooks focused on preservation and canning; Helen Hunerwadel who taught and advised on agricultural in Burma and Iran in the 1940s and 1950s; and Elizabeth Henderson, an organic farming pioneer and founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.
The exhibit draws upon the archival collections in Special Collections and University Archives and includes photos, articles, and other artifacts.