Agriculture - The Crouse Farm


Since agriculture was the primary industry of the area, Mr. Crouse established another department in the Hartland Area Project for agricultural projects. A fifteen-hundred acre farm, property of the Crouse family since 1844, was donated to the raising of pure bred stock and certified seed. Although the farm operated on a commercial basis, it proved to be of educational value to the schools and farmers of the community.

Some of the projects in operation in October 1931 were the following: At the high school students would learn biology, farm crops, horticulture, animal husbandry, and soils, farm management and agricultural economics. Also projects in poultry raising, dairy husbandry and crop production, as well as operation of a poultry house by the schools.

Local farmers could request specific aid through the Hartland Area Project on subjects such as milk and cream testing, soil testing, seed germination tests, poultry culling, grafting, budding and spray information, and information on methods for culture of specific crops. Aid was volunteered to farmers who were hesitant to ask for help or who overlooked things of importance in their agricultural work.

In 1940 a five year plan was created with specific objectives, plans, administrative costs and reports. Local agricultural committees were developed to collaborate with Michigan State University for the improvement and advancement in methods of plant culture, animal growth and management, and the raising of superior products. The aim was to achieve such quality in agricultural products that markets would identify the trade name Hartland Area.