4-H Centennial Gives Rise to ANR Centennial
UCCE Centennial Branding Toolkit
Incorporate the centennial celebration into the larger statewide campaign by using the resources and tools provided here: http://ucanr.edu/sites/100brand/. The theme, A Celebration of Science and Service, celebrates the direct impacts that UC Cooperative Extension has on local communities, and the vital research and science that happens throughout the state.
100 Years of Cooperative Extension: The Smith-Lever Act Centennial
May 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, legislation that created Cooperative Extension, a nationwide system of community-based education, established as part of each state’s land grant university. Cooperative Extension was started to help farmers, homemakers, and youth use the latest university research to improve their lives. With the passage of the Smith-Lever Act by Congress in 1914, all Cooperative Extension work, including boys’ and girls’ clubs, became an official function of the United States Department of Agriculture directed through the land grant college system.
In its first years, Cooperative Extension played a critical role on the home front during World War I, helping farmers to grow enough wheat and other crops to meet expanded war-time needs. Extension’s value was quickly established as farmers came to rely on having an expert close at hand who was familiar with local conditions and crops. In addition to addressing the needs of farmers, Cooperative Extension soon expanded to provide educational opportunities for their families, including programs for rural women and activities for local youth. Nutrition, food preservation, and a variety of skills were taught by “home demonstration agents” working with rural women. Thousands of young people would learn about food production, cooking, science and more through participation in 4-H clubs. Despite its rural roots, as communities have changed, so has Cooperative Extension and the 4-H Youth Development Program, adapting and fine-tuning programs to meet the needs of a changing society. As the nation urbanized, many Cooperative Extension and 4-H efforts were developed to meet the needs of non-rural and rural audiences alike.
Today, UC Cooperative Extension continues to serve communities throughout California as part of the UC ANR, with 200 locally based Cooperative Extension advisors, 130 campus-based Cooperative Extension specialists, 57 county offices throughout the state, and nine research and extension centers. Over a century of service, Cooperative Extension has continued to connect communities with the land grant campus, bringing practical, trusted, science based solutions to Californians.