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100 Years of Cooperative Extension

In 2014, NIFA and our partners in the Land-Grant University System celebrate 100 years of Cooperative Extension in the United States. The Smith Lever Act formalized Extension in 1914, but its roots go back to agricultural clubs and societies of the early 1800s. The act expanded USDA's partnership with land-grant universities to apply research and provide education in agriculture. 

Today, NIFA partners with more than 100 land-grant universities in pursuit of openness, accessibility and service through Cooperative Extension. NIFA supports both the universities and local offices of the Cooperative Extension System to bring science direct to the regional and county level. 

The successes of Extension in the past 100 years lay the groundwork for another 100 years of extending knowledge and changing lives through its many current programs.

To celebrate the centennial, NIFA wants to hear from you! How has Extension impacted your life? Maybe you were in 4-H? Or maybe an Extension agent helped you solve a problem on your farm or taught you nutrition tips? Whatever your story, share it via social media using the hashtag #Ext100Years and tweet it to us at @usda_nifa. We look forward to sharing your stories!

Centennial Celebrations

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) is coordinating nationwide activities to celebrate the centennial. While celebrating its history, the primary focus will be on current efforts and advancing Cooperative Extension for the next 100 years.

NIFA will be participating alongside ECOP in national events this year. Here’s a look at what is coming up:

March 3-5

CARET-AHS Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., including a session about the Centennial and a reception on Capitol Hill.

April 7-8

PILD meeting, Washington, D.C.

May 8

ECOP Centennial Convocation, Washington, D.C., primary celebration on the date of actual signing of the Smith Lever Act.

September

USDA celebration, USDA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NIFA Extension Webinar Series

In celebration of the Extension Centennial, NIFA’s Mu Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi is sponsoring a monthly webinar to share the successes of Cooperative Extension. Each month will focus on a new topic.

Please join us as we highlight the activities in the diverse environments served by Extension.

All webinars can be viewed via Adobe Connect. Continue to check this page as we update the schedule with more details on specific dates and speakers.

June 18, 3-4 p.m., EDT   

Keith Tidball, Cornell University, Extension Disaster Education Network – Implementing EDEN in a State context

Join us for this webinar as we discuss implementing the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) in a state context. Dr. Keith Tidball, senior extension associate at Cornell University and state director of EDEN in New York, will lead the webinar and share his experiences, which show the difference disaster preparedness can make.

July 16 Noon, EDT

Joy Landis, Michigan State University − Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for diverse audiences and diverse needs

August 13, Noon, EDT

JC Johnson, Command CMSgt (Ret) USAF National Director, Project Yes, North Carolina State University – Exploring the many levels of Project Yes!

August 26, Noon, EDT

Sekai Turner, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, North Carolina A&T State University – Building Intercultural Trust: Engaging Cherokee youth and families in the 4-H National Mentoring Program

September 17, Noon, EST

Dennis vanEngelsdorp, University of Maryland – Bee Informed Partnership: An AFRI Extension project to improve pollinator health

October 8, Noon, EST

Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA Director – 21st Century Extension

October 15, Noon, EST

Susan Givens-Seymour, Director of Cooperative Extension, Outreach and Community Education, Northwest Indian College – Traditional Foods:  Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) and 1994 Extension in Indian Culture

November 12, 1 p.m., EST

Ninfa Peña-Purcell, Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension – Rural Health and Safety Education grant program in the area of diabetes self-management education with Hispanic and African-American populations

December  TBD

Chris Watkins, Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University – Urban Extension in New York City