Layne R. Beaty PapersIntroduction
The Layne R. Beaty Papers, 1926-1979, were donated to the National Agricultural Library in 1981 by Layne R. Beaty. Comprising 10 linear feet and 19 archival boxes, the papers contain approximately 1500 items. The papers were arranged and described by William Thomas Auman, graduate student at the University of North Carolina in 1982.
Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Beaty, who was born in Oklahoma, graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1935. Between 1943 and 1951, he worked as farm editor of radio station WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1947, he served as president of the National Association of Radio Farm Directors (NARFD). From 1951 to 1954, Beaty was an information advisor in Europe with the U.S. aid programs; and from 1954 to 1980, he was Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Radio and Television Service.
Scope and Content Note
The Layne R. Beaty Papers center on the history of farm radio and television broadcasting in the United States and especially on the origins and development of the National Farm and Home Hour, the most popular radio program of all time in this country. The National Farm and Home Hour was aired over the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) from 1928 to 1960, and was cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NBC as a public service program for farmers and homemakers. The papers also contain a small number of documents relating to the Voice of America and Clear Channel Broadcasting. The papers consist of the following: photographs, correspondence; reports; surveys; newspaper clippings; magazine articles; farm radio and television station promotional literature; annual directories, reports, and yearbooks; annual convention literature; and professional newsletters-all relating to farm radio and television broadcasting and/or to The National Farm and Home Hour.
The photographs, arranged alphabetically, are mostly of radio and television farm directors and broadcasters, but include photos of USDA and NBC network officials involved in the operation of the National Farm and Home Hour. Also included are group shots of several National Association of Television and Radio Farm Directors convention delegates taken with Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and/or with one of the Secretaries of Agriculture. The correspondence from 1928 to 1977, arranged chronologically, deals almost entirely with the National Farm and Home Hour. Some letters, especially after 1960, relate to the activities of professional farm directors' and broadcasters' organizations (NATRFD, NAFB), to the Voice of America, and to Clear Channel Broadcasting.
The two boxes of miscellaneous newspaper clippings, magazine articles, reports surveys, and printed materials, arranged chronologically from 1926 to 1975, contain a wealth of information on the history of The National Farm and Home Hour program, farm broadcasting, and early radio in general. Farm radio station and television station promotional literature, arranged chronologically from 1932 to 1976, includes a plethora of listening area market and audience surveys made by or for radio and television stations concerned with agricultural broadcasting and advertising.
The annual directories, yearbooks, convention literature, and newsletters of the National Association of Radio Farm Directors (NARFD), founded in 1944, document the history of professional radio and television farm broadcasting between 1946 and 1979. (In 1955 NARFD became NATRFD, the "T" representing "Television;" in 1965, the name was changed to National Association of Farm Broadcasters, NAFB.) All are arranged chronologically.
Several good histories dealing with farm broadcasting and The National Farm and Home Hour are: National Broadcasting Company, The Nation's Bulletin Board of Agriculture: How the National Broadcasting Company Has Helped to Bring a New Era to 30,000,000 Farm People ( New York: Wm E. Rudge's Sons, 1941), John C. Baker, Farm People (New York: Wm E. Rudge's Sons, 1941), and John C. Baker, Farm Broadcasting: The First Sixty Years (Ames, Iowa: Iowa State Univ. Press, 1981).
The following is a list of persons who played an important role in the development of the National Farm and Home Hour and of farm broadcasting and who authored or received letters found in the four boxes of correspondence, 1928-1977: Morse Salisbury, Frank E. Mullen, Wallace Kadderly, I.G. Kinghorn, Claude R. Wichard, Phil Carlin, Ruth Van Deman, John C. Baker, Gerald L. Seaman, Ezra Taft Benson, Layne Beaty, Herb Plambeck, and Milton S. Eisenhower.
Series I. Photographs. 1931-1975. Boxes 1-6.
Main photographs of radio and television farm directors and broadcasters on the job in the studio and out in the field, but includes photographs of USDA officials, radio and television network officials, The National Farm and Home Hour staff, and Presidents Eisenhower and Truman addressing NAFB and NATRFD conventions.
Sereis II. Correspondence. 1928-1977. Boxes 7-10.
Correspondence between USDA officials, radio and television network officials, advertising agency officials, and radio and television farm directors and broadcasters concerning the origins and development over time of The National Farm and Home Hour radio program.
Series III. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, magazine articles, reports, surveys, and printed material. 1926-1975. Boxes 11-12.
Mainly relating to The National Farm and Home Hour, but includes information on farm directors and broadcasters and the USDA Radio Service.
Series IV. Farm Radio Station and Television Station Promotional Literature. 1932-1976. Boxes 13-14.
Listening area market and audience surveys made by or for radio and television stations from all areas of the Nation with agricultural broadcasting and advertising.
Series V. Annual Directories, Annual Reports, and Yearbooks. 1937-1978. Box 15.
Annual directories and yearbooks of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB), the National Association of Television and Radio Farm Directors (NATRFD), and the National Association of Radio Farm Directors (NARFD). Issues Missing. Annual Reports on The National Farm and Home Hour, 1937-40.
Series VI. NATRFD, NARFD, and NAFB Annual Meeting and Convention Literature. 1948-1979. Boxes 16-17.
Directories, programs, proceedings, attendance lists, and minutes of national and regional conventions.
Series VII. Professional Newsletters of Radio and Television Farm Directors and Broadcasters. 1951-1979. Box 18.
RFD, NATRD, and NAFB Charts, 1951-79 (issues missing); NATRD Nor' Easter, June and September, 1958; Pacific Northwest Region NATRFD News Letters, June and February, 1960.
Series VIII. Miscellany Subseries. Box 19.
(1) Voice of America, 1966-67.
(2) Clear Channel Broadcasting, 1946- 77
(3) Biographical Sketches of USDA Employees, n.d.
(4) Miscellaneous Items Folder.
Collection 320: Layne Beaty Oral History Tape
The Layne Beaty Oral History Tape contains the interview of Beaty by Roy Battles on August 12, 1985. The tape has been digitized and can be heard online at this link: http://media.archimedes.nal.usda.gov/speccol/LayneBeatyOralHistory.wma