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This article explores the impact of agricultural science and extension on the cotton industry in interwar Shandong Province. It shows that cotton experts played an important role in breeding upland or “American” cotton and in organizing communities to maintain the quality of the improved varieties. In the 1910s and early 1920s, cotton experts focused primarily on acclimatizing and improving American cotton varieties. Early approaches to distributing improved varieties failed to account for the difficulties of maintaining seed purity. Subsequently, in the 1930s, cotton scientists and extension agents worked together with industrialists, bankers, local government, rural reformers, and farmers to promote production and marketing cooperatives to manage how cotton was grown, ginned, and sold in a given community. These regulatory measures helped prevent seed degeneration and produced large supplies of pure-seed cotton for local production and factory consumption.