Greene County extension celebrates 100

May 10, 2014

GREENE COUNTY — Greene County Ohio State University Extension is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act on May 8, which established the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Smith-Lever Act requires cooperation between county, state and federal governments and encourages priorities to be established locally to meet the needs of each county.

The Cooperative Extension Service is a unique educational partnership between the US Department of Agriculture and the nation’s land-grant universities that extends research-based knowledge through a state-by-state network of local Extension professionals – bringing it to people where they live and work. The Smith-Lever Act has stimulated innovative research and educational programs for youth and adults that have improved lives and shaped a nation.

In Ohio, OSU Extension makes more than 1.5 million educational contacts each year and reaches Ohioans in each of our 88 counties. Our programs focus on strengthening families and communities, preparing youth for success, enhancing agriculture and the environment, and advancing employment and income opportunities. We engage with more than 240,000 young people through 4-H programming and connect with 29,000+ volunteers throughout the state.

OSU Extension is a dynamic educational entity that partners with individuals, families, communities, business and industry, and organizations to strengthen the lives of Ohioans. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

In Greene County, some of our most well-known Extension programs are 4-H Youth Development, Master Gardeners, Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists, Spending Smartly, and the Expanded Family Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). We reach nearly 3,000 people throughout the community, and we have 800 4-H members in 4-H clubs as well as other out-of-school and after-school activities.

A national celebration of the Smith-Lever Act will take place during the Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation on May 8 in Washington, DC. Bruce A. McPheron, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Keith L. Smith, director, OSU Extension; and several others will represent Ohio at the convocation. This includes Hannah Epley, 4-H youth development educator in Fairfield County, and two 4-H Teen Advisory Council members – Emma Newell, Fairfield County, and Britta Fenstermaker, Hancock County.

The national efforts will be complemented by various state and local activities. The Extension Centennial will be recognized during Ohio State Fair activities (July 23-Aug. 3), Farm Science Review (Sept. 16-18), the Celebration of Youth sponsored by the Ohio 4-H Foundation (Sept. 20), Ohio State’s homecoming game (Oct. 18), and other homecoming weekend activities.

In Greene County activities include 4-H Camp in June, Food Preservation classes, the Dining with Diabetes Series, the arrival of new Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Mary Griffith, and our new SNAP-Ed. Program Assistant, Debora Custer. More information about all Ohio activities is available online at http://go.osu.edu/OSUEcentennial. Information about national events is posted online at http://extension100years.net. For those who tweet, follow @Ext100years and watch hashtag #EXT100years.

OSU Extension also has published Memories and Milestones of Ohio State University Extension 1905-2013, which is available for purchase at http://estore.osu-extension.org; type the title of the book in the search box.