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Allegheny Highlands Project Records

Collection Number: A&M 5279

Scope and Contents

The Allegheny Highlands Project Records consist of the administrative files of the Allegheny Highlands Project (AHP), September 1970-July 1980, as well as records of farming activities of farm cooperators enrolled in the program. Administrative records for the operation of the AHP include planning documents, policies and correspondence, budgets and other financial documents, progress reports, vendor records, promotional materials including information sheets, and job applications and other personnel-related papers including WVU faculty reviews.

The records for individual farms include data sheets and computer printouts for each participant as well as aggregate data processed by a computer system called ELFAC. Data sheets submitted monthly and annually, financial records, and ELFAC printouts for each cooperator farm comprise the majority of the records in this collection. ELFAC printouts include tax data, detailed operating statements, cash summaries, and financial summaries by month (circa 1971-1975). The individual farm records also include soil and forage testing results with farm maps (circa 1971-1979). Counties represented by farmers include Randolph, Upshur, Lewis, Grant, Pocahontas, Tucker, Barbour, Harrison, and Pendleton.

Audiovisual materials include a promotional film and an audio recording of radio segments. Photographs show livestock, farms, administrators and participants, and field days.

The collection also includes some organizational records, including minutes, for Mountaineers for Rural Progress, 1971-1981.


  • Creation: 1970-1982


Conditions Governing Access

This collection includes social security numbers in boxes 1, 9, and 19; and personnel files in box 1. The collection also includes individual data pertaining to specific farms and farmers, which should only be reported in aggregate or as deidentified information. Due to both of these factors, this collection is restricted for 75 years after the date of record creation. Users may complete the Agreement for the Use of Restricted Materials to request access to any part of this collection prior to the expiration of the restriction.

The collection is stored off-site. Researchers should contact the West Virginia & Regional History Center prior to visiting to ensure materials are available.

Conditions Governing Use

The donor of this collection has transferred rights to the intellectual property they created to the Center. For more information regarding permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Biographical / Historical

The Allegheny Highlands Project (AHP) was a 10-year research project (1970-1980) conducted by the West Virginia University College of Agriculture with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, which was particularly interested in community development through the AHP. The AHP was an effort to test the implementation of innovative technologies for the production and marketing of sheep and beef cattle in a mountainous area where agriculture had declined, the West Virginia Highlands. Comprehensive production, inventory, and financial data was collected on 85 farms representing nine West Virginia counties from 1971 through 1979. The data collected in a computer system called ELFAC helped farmers determine their tax status, credit rating, and generally to facilitate farm management decisions through the analysis of costs for labor, feed, machinery, capital turnover, and production.

A multidisciplinary team of specialists in agronomy, animal science, farm management, and veterinary medicine worked together to provide producers with a package of recommendations to increase production and/or profitability. The AHP had three Project Directors: Robert Maxwell, 1970-1975; Frank Woodson, 1975-1977; and Barton Baker, 1978-1979. An extensive overview and independent assessment of the Project can be found in Lee Balliet's report Stimulating Livestock Production in the Allegheny Highlands: An Economic, Social, and Attitudinal Evaluation of a University Pilot Program, 1977. A draft copy is in Box 5 of this collection.

-Text taken from papers by Barton S. Baker and Robert H. Maxwell and a report by Lee Balliet


44.50 Linear Feet (44 ft. 6 in. (23 record cartons, 15 in. each); (10 oversize record cartons, 17 in. each); (3 document cases, 5 in. each); (1 document case, 2.5 in.); (1 flat storage box, 1.5 in.))



Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer from the WVU College of Agriculture and Forestry by Baker, Barton S., 2020-2021.

Related Materials

A&M 1208 West Virginia Elfac Farm Record Program, Records

Allegheny Highlands Project Records
Linda Blake
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US