Mote: For 100 years, Cooperative Extension has served people

February 5, 2014 

This year is a very special year for Cooperative Extension, as it marks the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many land-grant universities, including the University of Georgia, began offering off-campus training. This training included farm demonstrations for farmers, home management demonstrations for women, tomato club for girls and corn club for boys.

Extension began for the University of Georgia with the first Farmer Institute movement. The Farmer Institute was a series of meetings providing farmers with lectures and demonstration.

In 1910, the institute was recognized into the Extension Division of the College of Agriculture. In 1914, Congress established the Cooperative Extension Service through the signing of the Smith-Lever Act.

The Smith-Lever Act established Cooperative Extension as a partnership of the United States Department of Agriculture and the land-grant universities.

“The act stated cooperative agriculture should consist of practical applications for research. Also, it should give instruction and practical demonstrations of existing or improved practices and technologies in agriculture.” In other words, the congressional legislation created the means to deliver information from land-grant to all Americans.

Through the cooperative funding of federal, state, and county governments, extension agents are located in almost every county in Georgia.

Most counties have a combination of agents who specialize in agriculture and natural resources (ANR), family and consumer sciences (FACS), and youth development (4-H). Houston County is blessed to have a full staff of agents, program assistants and support staff.

Although society has changed drastically since 1914, we still continue to fulfill our basic mission.

“Our mission is to extend lifelong learning to the people of Georgia through unbiased, researched-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families.” This is done through publications, workshops, office contacts, site visits, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, 4-H members and 4-H volunteers.

Although our mission is the same, every county extension office varies in its programing based on the needs of the county. If there are any programs that you would like to see implemented in the county, please contact our office.

Source: www.uga.edu and www.extension.uga.edu

For more information on any program area, contact Houston County Extension at 478-987-2028 or drop by our office in the old courthouse, downtown Perry, 801 Main St. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit our website at www.caes.uga.edu/extension/houston for more news about your local Extension office.

Dates to remember:

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in several Middle Georgia counties will present “Small Farming: Where to Begin” on March 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The training, held at the Milledgeville Campus of Central Georgia Technical College, will be tailored to small and/or beginning growers.

The sessions, taught by UGA specialists and industry professionals, will include profitable marketing, grazing systems, beekeeping, resources, vegetable production and poultry. The registration fee for the program, including lunch is $25. After Feb. 28, the fee increases to $40. For more information, please contact the Putnam County Extension office at 706-485-4151.

Jan. 29: Georgia Ag Forecast, Tifton-to be rescheduled

Production meetings for the Houston/Macon/Peach County Area:

All meetings will be held at the Macon County Extension office at noon.

Feb. 17: Corn Production

Feb. 19: Weed Management

Feb. 25: Cotton Production

The soybean meeting is still in the planning stages.

Feb. 13: 14th annual Conservation Production Systems Training Conference/Workshop, Vidalia Onion Research Farm, Lyons

Feb. 7-9: 4-H SW District Project Achievement, Rock Eagle

Feb. 19-23: Junior Nation Livestock Show, Perry

Feb. 25: Precision Agriculture (TAPAC) Workshop, Tifton

Feb. 28: Small Farming registration deadline

Charlotte Mote is the Houston County agricultural and natural resources agent. Contact her at 478-987-2028 or cmote1@uga.edu.

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