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North Dakota Ag College/ State University Extension Service title

Ben Barrett was a particularly effective and active County Agent. In 1944, he published an Extension Bulletin for Emmons County residents interested in fruit cultivation with an emphasis on hardy varieties that had been raised and tested at the Mandan Agricultural Experiment Station of the USDA. Barrett complimented local fruit growers and continued his support of home orchards through 1945. Among the area’s fruit growers was Clemens Klein of Hague who had grown fruit for more than thirty years. Klein had one-half acre in plums and Compass Cherries which he had grafted himself. He was self-taught in grafting fruit trees. He also raised Opata, Sapa, and Waneta plums. He kept some of the fruit, gave some away, and sold $110 worth of fruit in a recent year. Klein also raised his own tobacco, which grew so well, he needed to raise tobacco only every two or three years. Martin Olhauser, who lived west of Hazelton, had grapes, apples, and plums. Henry Johnson raised apples of which he sold $36 worth; he also had plums and grapes. Jim Jones who lived near Pollock had apples which he stored throughout the winter. (Emmons County Annual Reports, 1944, 1945)

In 1946, several Homemakers’ Clubs participated in a program on canned foods spoilage. Two members (of 165) reported a lot of spoilage of home canned fruits; three reported much spoilage of vegetables. Thirty-seven members reported a little spoilage of fruit and thirty-nine reported a little spoilage of vegetables. Nineteen members reported no spoilage of fruit, and twenty reported no spoilage of vegetables. The numbers suggest excellent experience and skill in home canning and well-maintained canning equipment. Spoilage could be due to a bad seal, too little head space between the contents and the lid (homemaker’s error), or too long a period between picking and canning. (Emmons County Report 1946)

In 1955, Barrett invited Ruth Dawson, Extension Home Economist from NDAC to Emmons County to do a demonstration on the proper packaging for frozen foods. She trained Homemakers’ Club project leaders who took the program back to their clubs. Freezing foods had been an option for homemakers since the 1930s with frozen food lockers available in many towns. Following World War II, more private homes had freezers and women were learning the advantages of home frozen foods.

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