A Research Symposium to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act
September 24 – 25, 2014
Waterfront Place Hotel
A century ago, the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the United States Cooperative Extension System, a partnership of the Department of Agriculture, land-grant colleges, and state and local governments. This historic legislation provided federal support to land-grant colleges in “cooperation with the Department of Agriculture … in order to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information . . .” The Smith-Lever Act was the culmination of years of fledgling outreach efforts by land-grant colleges to extend the educational, social, and economic benefits of higher education beyond the campus to serve the people. County extension agents and land-grant extension faculty delivered scientific knowledge and new technology, promoted local education, health and wellness programs, provided life-long learning, engaged in community development, and reoriented land-grant colleges as a public good.
This centennial symposium provides an opportunity for scholars to consider the legacy, present condition, and future directions of cooperative extension, as well as the engagement mission of public higher education.