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Calif. Extension events to mark service’s centennial

Tim Hearden
The University of California Cooperative Extension will celebrate the 100th anniversary of agricultural extension services nationwide on May 8 by holding open houses at many UCCE offices and by inviting Californians to take part in an online data-gathering experiment.

Capital Press

DAVIS, Calif. — To celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary of agricultural extension services, the University of California Cooperative Extension is inviting everyone to become scientists.

The UCCE is seeking answers to an online questionnaire about water conservation, pollinators and where food is grown and will compile the data from all corners of the state.

The project is one of many activities to mark the UCCE’s milestone on May 8, a century after President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation that created extension services to connect university research with farmers and other ordinary people.

“We’re wanting people to get a better understanding about the connection between higher education and community, which is what we’ve always been about with the extension,” said Jeannette Warnert, a spokeswoman for the UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

As part of the commemoration, many UCCE offices throughout the state will hold an open house with various activities. Among them:

• Humboldt County’s extension office will host mini-workshops on water conservation, pollination and local food at a small farm in Bayside, Calif., starting at noon, then hold a “Day of Science and Service” at 6 p.m. at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka.

• The UCCE’s Yolo County office in Woodland will host activities, teach guests about extension programs and history and serve refreshments.

• Fresno’s 10 a.m. ceremony at the Garden of the Sun will include a proclamation from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and presentations by representatives of all the county’s UCCE programs.

The day marks the 1914 passage of the Smith-Lever Act, which Wilson called “one of the most significant and far-reaching measures for the education of adults ever adopted by government,” according to the UC’s website.

Since then, extension programs have provided science-based information to solve challenges in agriculture as well as economics, natural resources and other areas, the website explains.

“This research was going on at these land-grant universities … but the people on the farms weren’t implementing it,” Warnert said. “That’s why congress understood” the need for extension services, she said.

Online

UCCE’s A Day of Science and Service: http://100.ucanr.edu/Day_of_Science_and_Service/

UCCE history: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.edu/landingpage.cfm?article=ca.v068n01p8&fulltext=yes



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