It's National Agriculture Week!
Celebrate with a fun fact for the Day…
Did you know?
Have you ever wondered just what Extension is? Where did the concept of Extension begin? How did it evolve into what it is today? Many people do not realize the historical significance Extension has played in the dispersion of agricultural information since the late 1800’s. The historical account of the creation of Extension is quite fascinating…
It was during the late 1800’s there was a political movement for the development of agricultural colleges to promote military, liberal, and practical education. The inception of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts facilitated the creation of land-grant colleges in both 1862 and 1890. It was during 1862 that each state received 30,000 acres of federal land, which was to be used to establish agricultural colleges throughout the nation. As a result, Kansas State University (formed in 1863) was the first land-grant institution formed under the Morrill Act of 1862.
Several years later, the government saw the need for agricultural experiment stations to be created to facilitate research in the agricultural realm. Thus, the government gave monies to the states in order to create the agricultural experiment stations in 1887. This was known as the Hatch Act. These stations were associated with the land grant universities that stemmed from the Morrill Act of 1862.
By 1890, the need to show race was NOT an admissions criterion drove the government to create the second Morrill Act. This act dedicated a separate land-grant facility for persons of color. This was primarily aimed at former confederate states. There are currently 106 total land grant institutions across the nation, of which 17 are 1890 institutions, (including Tuskegee, a private institution).
The biggest difference between the Morrill Act of 1862 and the Morrill act of 1890 was the 1890 Morrill Act granted money instead of land (but they are both deemed land grant colleges due to having the same legal standing).
Because of both Morrill Acts, Congress recognized the need in 1914 to disseminate knowledge gained at land grant institutions to famers and homemakers. Thus, the Smith-Lever Act established federal funds for the Cooperative Extension Service in every county in every state.
Extension agents live and work in every county in the state. They help people solve problems and lead richer, fuller lives. Agents are the two-way link between Tennesseans, both urban and rural, and university specialists, scientists and researchers. Education is Extension's goal.
Approximately 16,000 professional Extension agents, employed in counties across America, are teaching citizens how to have better homes, farms and communities. Four hundred of these agents live and work in Tennessee, where they initiate, create and conduct educational programs for people who want to help themselves to an improved quality of life.
Each county office of The University of Tennessee Extension is staffed with agents who are college graduates in agriculture and/or family and consumer sciences. These highly trained professionals are able to provide information on a variety of subjects, ranging from landscaping to nutrition, from animal health to family money management. These programs are available to all county residents.
The Mission Statement of UT Extension
UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. It is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state and local governments, that brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and resource development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.
Because Extension emphasizes helping people improve their livelihood where they are located, most Tennesseans have contact with UT Extension through their local county Extension agents found in each of the 95 counties. Extension agents are supported by area and state faculty as well as by the educational and research resources and activities of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 74 land-grant universities, and 3,150 county units throughout the nation. The stated mission of the system is to help people improve their lives through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge to address issues and needs.