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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 48, Number 6 (March 1947)

Witter, Grace
40 years for the Country Magazine,   p. 8

Page 8

40 Yearss for the Country Magazine
Magazine was 40 years old in January.
It has lived through two wars and
many business ups and downs. An esti-
mated 50 student editors have planned
dummies, and business managers have
figured assets that ranged all the way
from a fireless cooker to $1,200.
  The publication, now owned by every
student in the College of Agriculture,
has a history that reads like fiction.
  The magazine started in 1907 as the
Student Farmer. It began as a private
enterprise with six students publishing
the magazine in their spare time. By
1909 the magazine had a capital of
$1,200 and was owned by officers of the
company, two faculty members, and
James G. Milward, now professor of
  As time passed, students and faculty
resigned and sold their stock, some-
times leaving faculty members owning
the magazine, although it was always
edited by students.
  About 300 shares of stock were sold
  at $1 each in 1911 when the publica-
tion was incorporated as the Wisconsin
Country Magazine Publishing Co. The
stock company was discontinued by
1914. There are no stocks in existence
  Today the magazine is a self-support-
ing student business, ajpproved and un-
der the jurisdiction: of the student life
and interests committee. A boird of
control consisting of four students and
three faculty oversee the work of the
staff in an advisory capacity.
   In the early days much of the in-
 come came from farm advertising, both
 classified and display. Today, all adver-
      By GRACE WIrTER, '47
tising is display, most of it on a na-
tional scale.
  "National advertising is becoming
more important to the magazine every
year," says. Harold Roeder, national
advertising manager.
  Roeder says the Agricultural College
Magazine Association is instrumental
in obtaining these national advertisers.
The association is a national organiza-
tion of agricultural magazines, founded
in 1917 under the leadership of F. W.
Beckman, Iowa State College.
  Editorially the magazine has turned
somersaults throughout the years.
  "The strictly farm magazine is out
of sight, so are the faculty-written ar-
ticles. It's a student magazine," assures
Ex-Editor Eleanor Eberdt, Madison,
senior in agricultural journalism.
  The first editor was James G. Mil-
ward. He is now professor of horticul-
ture at the university and also is sec-
retary of the Wisconsin Potato Growers
   "It is significant that the magazine
has continued publishing every year
since its birth, even though the first
and last issues differ a great deal,"
says Professor Milward.
   "Today the articles tend to be lighter
 and more colorful than our first issues.
 We printed more serious and scientific
 articles, written especially for farmers".
   With only 143 studenits on campus at
the time, the magazine had to. specialize
in fields other than student activities.
   Faculty members sometimes contrib-
 ute to the magazine. John Steuart
 Curry, artist in residence at the Col-
 lege, now deceased, drew "Belgian Stal-
 lions" for the magazine six years rago.
   Sbme outstanding men.who have been
. staff members include Samuel Lepkop-
ski, '20, now a nationally-known bio-,
chemist at California Universityf; 0. A.
Hanke, '26, now vice president and edi-
torial director of Poultry Tribune; and
E. J. Delwiche, '06, emeritus professor
of agronomy.
   Women first appeared on the maga-
 zine staff in 1911 when Alice Lloyd
 Jones was appointed home economics
 editor. At that time home economics
 news was limited, but it did succeed in
 obtaining space in the once strictly ag-
 ricultural publication.
   Femininity on the staff has been
 dominant in the past five years. An all
 girl staff, the first in the magazine's
 history, started the 1943-4 year. How-
 ever, two men were recruited before
 the year was over. Including this year,
 women have continued to head both
 the editorial and the business staff.
   The first woman editor to be in full
 command was Alice Murray in 1936.
 She is now home economics extension
 editor at Penn State. Following Miss
 Murray as editor were Ruth Botz in
 1938 and Sue Toepfer in 1939. Clarissa
 Porter became the first woman business
 manager in March, 1937.
   Advisor for the past 30 years, but
 not a censor, is Professor W. A. Sum-
 ner, PhM '31, of the agricultural jour-
 nalism department. He believes the
 magazine offers students worthwhile
 experience in the field of journalism.

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