CPS Camp Number 100
Technical Agency: Agriculture Experiment Station
CPS Unit No. 100, a Dairy Herd Testing unit operating in fourteen states in conjunction with Agricultural Experiment Stations, opened during April and May 1943. The Dairy Herd Division of the Department of Agriculture sponsored dairy herd associations of approximately twenty-six farmers who co-operatively employed one man to determine the quality of milk and butter fat production of each cow in a herd. In addition, the man examined feed cost and income returned per cow to improve the efficiency of the herd. Since most of the dairy herd testers had been young men drafted during the first years of the war, an acute shortage existed creating fear that milk production and herd standards would be lowered. The Department of Agriculture expressed its willingness to use CPS men; the state associations requested a CPS tester for a local association; the church agency recruited and approved men for the unit and worked with the state officer to secure training for the men. Each CPS man visited each farm in his association at least once monthly, keeping records to be used by the farmer to weed out poor producers and link feeding schedules to each cow’s milk production. The unit closed in October 1946.
Elson Strausbaugh , writing in the Dairy Diary II:1 (January 1944) details the daily routine of a dairy tester.
In the typical dairy herd improvement association, “the tester visits each farmer once a month and under Selective Service a month means 26 days of work. The testing of a herd of 30 cows is considered a day’s work although this varies . . . [a larger herd] . . . must remain another day”.
(1) The tester plans to arrive at the farm early enough so as not to cause any delay in the evening milking.
(2) He . . . [carries] with him many items of equipment such as a milk-scale, a 24-bottle Babcock tester of centrifuge. . . .
(3) . . . [He weighs or measures] the grain fed each cow. Also . . . [weighs or estimates] the roughage fed each. These weights are immediately recorded. . . .
(4) By this time the farmer is probably ready to start his milking procedure proper. As each cow is milked, her milk is weighed [and sampled] and the weight recorded.
(5) The grain mixture being fed is recorded. Also . . .the prices of ingredients and of the various roughages fed.
(6) The tester obtains and records the dates when any cows were turned dry or when any freshened since the last visit. [He also records data on any sale or purchase of cows.]
(7) Then he goes with the farmer to the house for the evening meal. Afterwards he obtains the price being paid this farmer for his milk. He also discusses herd problems with him. If there is more time left he may work on back work, identification reports or records before he . . . [retires] for the night in a bed assigned him usually at the farm home.
(8) In the morning he arises early enough to be at the barn again in time for the milking. This varies from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. He again weighs each cow’s milk, records that weight and takes a sample to add to the one taken in the evening before to make a composite sample.
(9) Usually then he eats breakfast, after which he tests these samples for their butterfat content.
(10) He fills out the barn sheet which is usually the longest part of the work. The night and morning milk weights were added for each cow. . . . Then the value of this milk is computed and compared with the cost computed of feed to find the value of the produce above or below feed costs.
(11) All this data is then copied into the herd-record book which is left with the farmer for his study and dairy management.
(12) By the time all the above work is completed, it is about mid-afternoon and time to pack and leave the farm for the next. Of course, there are identification and production reports to fill out and send occasionally to the State Dairyman. These records are sent on to the Bureau of Dairy Industry at Washington, D. C., and recorded for use in proving sires and finding sources of good breeding stock. (in Eisan p. 251-252)
Farm service attracted COs with prior agricultural experience. As a result, more men from Brethren and Mennonite camps and units than from Friends units accepted these assignments.
Unfortunately, the majority of the dairy herd testers could not be assigned to the appropriate subunit due to insufficient information in their directory records.
For more information on Brethren agricultural units see Leslie Eisan, Pathways of Peace: A History of the Civilian Public Service Program Administered by the Brethren Service Committee. Elgin, IL: Brethren Publishing House, 1948, Chapter 7 pp. 239-272.
For more information on Mennonite dairy farm units, see Melvin Gingerich, Service for Peace: A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service. Akron, PA: Mennonite Central Committee printed by Herald Press, Scottdale, PA 1949, Chapter XV pp. 190-212.
For more general information on CPS see Albert N. Keim, The CPS Story: An Illustrated History of Civilian Public Service, Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1990, pp. 55-57 on Food Production.
For more information on CPS units in New York State, see Mitchell L. Robinson “Men of Peace in a World at War: Civilian Public Service in New York State, 1941-1946,” in New York History (April 1977): 173-210.
See also Conscription of Conscience: The American State and the Conscientious Objector, 1940-47 by Mulford Q. Sibley and Philip E. Jacob, Cornell University Press, 1952, Chapter VII: The Service Record of the Conscientious Objector pp. 124-151.
Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Camp periodical database.
Location: New York, | Opened: May 1943 | Closed: October 1946
Location: Pennsylvania, | Opened: May 1943 | Closed: October 1946
Location: Virginia, | Opened: May 1943 | Closed: October 1946
Location: Vermont, | Opened: May 1943 | Closed: October 1946
Location: West Virginia, | Opened: May 1943 | Closed: October 1946