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October 12–20, 1917

Five student “farmerettes” from the Vassar Farm Unit who worked the previous summer on the Vassar farm to aid the war effort demonstrated their work at the first Eastern States Agricultural and Industrial Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts. The students were excused from classes for ten days to demonstrate their farming skills before some 138,000 visitors.  

An appreciation of the students’ participation in the exposition by its publicity manager, W. A. Parcelle, appeared in The Miscellany News in November.  “The project,” he wrote, was a tremendous success. Though the show was given in about the worst run of weather any such enterprise ever had to contend with, the girls each day had a large part of the attendance as spectators, both in the field and in the Exhibition Building. Several times I took occasion to spend a few minutes mingling with the crowd, to overhear the comments, and these were of just the character we hoped for.”

Noting earlier the group’s demonstrations at the exposition, The Miscellany News, on October 20, had quoted a notice from “a Springfield Paper”: “11:30 A. M. Harrowing exhibition by Vassar Farm Unit.”

The Years