Join Cooperative Extension in Celebrating Our Centennial!

— Written By Casey Hancock and last updated by

Over the past 100 years, Extension agents have touched many lives through the delivery of research-based information from the land-grant universities to the public. I’m sure many of you have fond memories of participating in 4-H clubs as youth, perhaps raising and exhibiting livestock at the county fair. Others may remember participating in food preservation programs or hosting a test plot on their farm with the assistance of the local agent.

A centennial is a time to reflect, prepare, and celebrate. As we reflect on the rich history North Carolina Cooperative Extension has had with the citizens of our great state, we also prepare for and recommit ourselves to continued service to citizens of North Carolina, as well as celebrate our many impacts and successes along the way. In North Carolina and across the country, 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension programs.

The work of the Extension agent became official with the signing of the Smith-Lever Act on May 8, 1914. The federal legislation of the Smith-Lever Act provided funding for life-changing educational programs and outreach.

The goal remains the same today: to provide research-based knowledge from the state’s land-grant universities: N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University. Today, Cooperative Extension programs in North Carolina are based in all 100 counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. While the original goal has not changed, Cooperative Extension has adapted over the years to meet the needs of our communities. Cooperative Extension still thrives in communities today, providing programming in the three major areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and 4-H Youth Development.

Join us in celebrating Cooperative Extension’s Centennial and learn more about Cooperative Extension, the so-called best kept secret. The Robeson County Center, located at 455 Caton Road, Lumberton, has planned a local celebration Friday, September 12, between 4 and 6 p.m.

N.C. Cooperative Extension’s centennial website provides many resources that tell the 100-year history of this organization. Visit the website: to see a timeline of Extension milestones, historic photos, examples of Extension programs, the history of the Smith-Lever Act, and much more.

For more information, please contact Casey Hancock, Extension Community Resource Development Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at, or visit our website at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.