From the early twentieth century, the Board of Agriculture supported agricultural research within the universities in order to support the farming industry. In the Edwardian period, an Advisory Committee on Agricultural Science was established to coordinate such research, supported by Treasury grants. The University of Manchester operated as a provincial centre for this work in Lancashire and Cheshire, and worked with the Holmes Chapel Agricultural College to support agricultural education. Although the University did not establish agriculture as an independent university subject, it was very active in the fields of economic botany and entomology. Advisers were employed to promote these subjects. in 1919, the Board established formally an Agricultural Advisory Scheme, and paid for University staff to act as advisers in zoology, botany, chemistry and economics as these affected the regional farming community. Most of this work was providing direct advisory services to individual farmers, but from the 1930s, the advisers became more actively involved in research (an entomological research station operated at Warburton, Cheshire). the Advisory Scheme was wound up in 1946, when it was replaced by a National Agricultural Advisory Scheme, directly overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture. Thereafter the University continued to work with the Ministry, which supported the work of the Department of Agricultural Economics.
The file contains extensive information about the operation of the Advisory Scheme, including copies of reports and memoranda by the Advisers. Subjects include management problems in the 1920s and the advisers roles during the second World War.
Former reference: RA/3/13