Cooperative Extension Service Centennial
In 2014, Cooperative Extension Services around the country celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which created a unique educational entity meant to extend university research into the every day lives of Americans.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 codified into federal law, and provided funding for, outreach endeavors at the Land-Grant Universities founded by the Morrill Act of 1862. The act was introduced by Senator Hoke Smith of Georgia and Representative A. F. Lever of South Carolina to expand the vocational, agricultural, and home demonstration programs in rural America.
The appropriation for Cooperative Extension as established by Smith-Lever was unique in that it set up a shared partnership among the federal, state, and county levels of government. A formula funding mechanism was designed to insure that there was support from each of the levels to help the fledgling system achieve stability and leverage resources.