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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


National Centennial News

Smith-Lever Act (May 8, 1914)

An act signed (by President Woodrow Wilson) ... "to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture, uses of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and rural energy, and to encourage the application of the same..."
-Rep. Asbury F. Lever, South Carolina
-Sen. Michael Hoke Smith, Georgia


The 100-year signing anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System, will take place in 2014. ECOP has established a Centennial Committee to coordinate and support activities nationwide ( The national Centennial Celebration site contains more information about the Smith-Lever Act, national Centennial Celebration events, the Centennial national leadership team, and a toolkit with marketing and messaging materials.

While celebrating Cooperative Extension’s heritage, the primary focus will be on contemporary efforts and launching Cooperative Extension for the next 100 years of educational programming that transforms behavior of individuals, families, youth, farmers, communities, and businesses. The national efforts will be complemented by state and local activities.

National Events

Capitol Hill Reception
March 5, 2014 --- Washington DC
A reception targeted to members of Congress is planned during the CARET-AHS annual meeting.

PILD (Public Issues Leadership Workshop)
April 6-9, 2014 --- Alexandria, VA
Sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals

In celebration of the Centennial of the Smith-Lever Act which officially created the national Cooperative Extension system, this year’s conference theme is “Public Issues and Leadership Development—Celebrating the Past, Leading the Future…”

The PILD conference provides opportunities to learn about the political process at the national level, meet with elected officials, and interact with key leaders from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and other agencies and organizations in the Washington DC area. Visit for more information.

Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation
May 7-8, 2014 --- Washington DC
More information is available online.

See photos of the event - including Ohio's own Dr. Bobby Moser bringing in the Ohio flag during the opening ceremony and Dr. Bruce McPheron, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State, during a panel discussion.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack congratulates Cooperative Extension on its 100th anniversary. See video.

The University of Missouri prepared a video after the convocation.

National Social Media Connections

    Twitter: @Ext100Years

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

Jimmy Carter, former United States president (2-minute video). The 89-year-old is a former 4-H member, peanut farmer, public servant and statesman. He comments on the importance of Cooperative Extension in his family and his life as well as the important role Extension will play in the future to feed the world. The video, made possible by the University of Georgia, was first aired during the national Centennial convocation in Washington DC.

Reba McIntire (30-second PSA)

Baxter Black - available soon

Extension Professionals' Creed

Cooperative Extension Timeline