The high regard in which the American farmer has been held is not hard to understand. For a long time, America was primarily rural. Seaman A. Knapp believed that the independent farmer, idealized perhaps, was the prototype of the successful American. Perhaps even, the main character in the “American Dream”. He knew it could not be attained as long as the current agricultural practices he saw prevailed. The American farmer needed to learn new methods to be as prosperous as possible.
Most changes that originate today, exist within the confines of a scientific laboratory, and when Knapp went to work to help the farming community, it was not any different. He worked out an educational instrument that, at the time, was the swiftest and most effective method of getting badly needed technological and sociological knowledge from colleges and laboratories to the groups furthest from the source. The County Demonstration Agent System bridges the gap between rural communities and agricultural colleges and experiment stations with their newfound information in the arts and sciences of husbandry. This is one example of many ways Seaman Knapp assisted in growing the prosperity of the local farmer.
In the pages that follow, Dr. Bailey mastered the fashion of telling the story of a great American who labored so intelligently, that the American population could be prosperous, contented, and a defensive wall to our national perpetuity. Although Seaman A. Knapp passed in the year 1911, in this book he lives again. Definitive work by Dr. Bailey has made an outstanding contribution to the literature of American agricultural history.