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Cooperative Extension celebrates 100 years this month


In 1914, Norma Davis became University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s first employee, teaching homemaking and 4-H youth education.

If you’ve ever participated in 4-H or been given information by a Master Gardener, you’re one of hundreds of thousands of Nevadans for reason to celebrate this month. The organization that conducts these educational programs, and more than 130 others in communities across Nevada, is celebrating its centennial: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has reason to celebrate. He participated in 4-H here in Nevada as a youth.

“The 4-H Program taught me responsibility, leadership and gave me lifelong skills,” he said. “In fact, it was my participation in 4-H that led me to buy my very first car – a Volkswagen bug. My brother and I spent every morning feeding and tending to our lambs.”

The Governor offered more remarks on his 4-H experience and Cooperative Extension in a taped message that is part of a short video posted on Cooperative Extension’s website at http://www.unce.unr.edu/about/centennial/. He has also proclaimed May 8, 2014 as University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Day in Nevada, and several county commissions across the state are also issuing similar proclamations.

May 8, 1914 is the day the Smith-Lever Act established the nationwide Cooperative Extension system to provide educational programs “to diffuse useful and practical information.” In Nevada, the University of Nevada, Reno is the state’s land-grant institution, and as such, it accepted the duty of supporting Cooperative Extension’s programs to provide practical information to people, business and communities in all 17 Nevada counties.

The organization presents programs to address critical needs in agriculture; horticulture; community and economic development; natural resources; children, youth and families; and health and nutrition. Although it is a College of the University of Nevada, Reno, it is a county-state-federal partnership, with employees living and working throughout the state, assessing local community needs and bringing University research and knowledge, as well as resources from other partners, to address those needs.

For more on University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s history in the state, go to http://www.unce.unr.edu/about/history/.


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