EXTENSION CONNECTION: We're celebrating 100 years of extension

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 05:42 PM.

Extension is celebrating 100 years! The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension Service, which allows us all to benefit from our land-grant universities' knowledge.

Extension agents have helped millions of Floridians by tapping the latest information from the University of Florida and Florida A&M University's research engines and converting it into practical knowledge we use every day.

Cooperative Extension was designed as a partnership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the land-grant universities, which were authorized by the Federal Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. Legislation in various states has enabled local governments or organized groups in the nation’s counties to become a third legal partner in this education endeavor.

The congressional charge to Cooperative Extension through the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 is far-ranging. Today, this educational system includes professionals in each of America’s 1862 land-grant universities (in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Marianas, American Samoa, Micronesia and the District of Columbia) and in the Tuskegee University and 16 1890 land-grant universities.

All of Florida's 67 counties have a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Service. Most offices include an agent experienced in Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, Horticulture, Marine Science, and Agriculture. Agents provide programming on topics important to their communities and plenty of resources to help local farmers, youths, parents and anyone with questions on the above topics.

Okaloosa County currently has an agent in the extension office for each of these program areas. If you are interested in learning more about our mission, when future programs are scheduled and more, call 689-5850 or come by 3098 Airport Road, Crestview.

Haley Worley is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.

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