Ray A. Turner Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator - Donor
Turner, Ray A
Ray A. Turner papers
Date [inclusive]
0.4 Cubic feet , 8 folders

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing,Michigan".

Return to Table of Contents »


Ray A. Turner graduated in 1909 from Michigan Agricultural College. Turner devoted 36 years of service to the 4-H boys’ and girls’ club. He became the first county club agent of Hillsdale County, Michigan in March 1915. In September 1918 he was made Michigan State club leader, and in June 1924 he joined the ranks of the Federal Extension Service staff. There he was the field agent for the Central States, and remained until his retirement. During his long career with 4-H, Turner accomplished many things. He was one of the organizers of the first National 4-H camp. Turner’s major responsibility was the organization of the State 4-H Club leaders’ conference held at each national encampment. He served on the staff of 27 national encampments.

In 1930 Turner, then with the Federal National 4-H Extension Service, arranged the music hour which aired monthly on the National 4-H Radio Program. The United States Marine Corp. Band played music on a selected theme during the broadcast. 1 This program aired through 1940.

After World War I, Turner and his colleagues gave aid to foreign clubs to promote youth activity in agriculture. One country he worked with was Latvia. For his efforts he was awarded the “Order of the Stars”; the highest civil order conferred by Latvia. 1

Another notable achievement of Turner’s was his appointment in 1928 as chairman of the National 4-H Contests and Awards. 1

1Reck, Franklin, M; The 4-H Story; A History of the 4-H Club Work, The Iowa State College Press, Ames, IA pg 217

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains the newsletter from the U.S. Agriculture Director of Extension Work that announces Ray A. Turner’s retirement in 1951. There are photos of Turner receiving awards, the building named in his honor, in Washington D.C. and of the Marine Corp band. It also contains the booklet “From a Dream to Reality: A History of the National 4-H Service Committee 1921-1971.

There are three bound volumes of letters of congratulations on Turner’s retirement from his colleagues, including a letter from John Hannah, President of Michigan State University. These letters started to arrive in 1950 when he announced his retirement through 1952, shortly after his retirement on September 30, 1951. Also included in the collection is Turner’s unpublished thesis entitled; A Study of County and State Programs of Work Boys’ and Girls’ Club Work. Turner’s Michigan State College Centennial Award for distinguished services is also part of this collection.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections September 2007

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan 4-H Foundation.
  • United States. Federal Extension Service.


  • Agricultural extension work
  • Youth

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Newsletter U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director of Extension Work 1951 

2308H 1


2308H 2

50 th Anniversary Booklet:  From a Dream to Reality: A History of the National 4-H Service Committee 1921-1971 

2308H 3

Michigan State College Centennial Award 1955 

2308H 4

Greetings to Ray A. Turner from Friends and Associates 1951 

2308H 5

Letters to R. A. Turner (green volume) 1951 

2308H 6

Letters to R. A. Turner (black volume) 1950, Undated 

2308H 7

Thesis: A Study of County and State Programs of Work (unpublished) 1924 

2308H 8