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St. Lucie School Board recognize 100th Anniversary of the Cooperative Extension

Recently, the 100th Anniversary of the Cooperative Extension Service Resolution was read by Kathryn Hensley and adopted by the St. Lucie County School Board. May 8, 2014 marked the centennial of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act which established Cooperative Extension, known in the state of Florida as UF/IFAS Extension and Florida A and M University Extension, the nationwide transformational education system operating through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state and local government. At the gathering were UF Extension Advisory Council Member Pat Alley, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, School Board Member Kathryn Hensley and Superintendent Genelle Yost (see Photo).

Attendees at recognition of 100th Anniversary of the Cooperative Extension
Lucie Links Newsletter

What is Extension?

Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. The University of Florida (UF), together with Florida A&M University (FAMU), administers the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. At the University of Florida, Extension is located in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), along with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and is called UF/IFAS Extension.

Throughout American history (inclusive of all races of black, red, yellow, brown and white) regardless of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance and/or bigotry, there have always been linking hands and hearts that stood and extended hope for the future unity of all mankind. Just as the abolitionist of slavery days paved a way to freedom by tutoring slaves to read at night while they toiled by day in the fields, then onward north to Canada through the underground railroad to be free from oppression as slaves. There is always talk about those that always wanted to exclude, divert and misuse, but almost nothing about those that were always inclusive and up unto this very day extends to help educate and provide all needs in many ways, just as long ago in the beginning, because they wear the garments of care.

Smith–Lever Act of 1914

The Smith–Lever Act of 1914 is a United States federal law that established a system of cooperative extension services, connected to the land-grant universities, in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, public policy/government, leadership, 4-H, economic development, coastal issues (National Sea Grant College Program), and many other related subjects. It helped farmers learn new agricultural techniques by the introduction of home instruction.

The appropriation for cooperative extension is shared between the states based on the following formula. Once the historic amount that has been allocated for "special needs" programs is set aside and an additional 4% is reserved for USDA administrative costs, the remaining funds are allocated:

  • 20% shared by all States in equal proportions;
  • 40% shared in the proportion that the rural population of each bears to the total rural population of the several States as determined by the census;
  • 40% shared in the proportion that the farm population of each bears to the total farm population of the several States as determined by the census.

Except for the "1994 Land-grant colleges" for native Americans, each state must match its Federal cooperative extension funds.

In addition, an amount no less than 6% of the total Smith-Lever Act appropriation is appropriated for the extension programs of the "1890 Land-grant colleges" (historically black colleges). These funds are also shared between the 1890 colleges by the 20%-40%-40% formula, with Alabama A&M and Tuskegee University treated as though they were in different states.

REF: Lucie Links Newsletter (SLCSD) May 2014