DES MOINES – The Iowa Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution March 27, 2014, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, the founding legislation of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System. In Iowa, Cooperative Extension is part of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Vice President for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Cathann Kress, Polk County Extension Council member Harold Hommes and several extension specialists were on hand as the resolution was read and passed.
Extension work in Iowa first began in 1903, when a group of Sioux County farmers cooperated with Iowa State University to improve seed corn. They were first in the nation, establishing the “extension idea” — taking the land-grant university out to the people.
Iowa counties began organizing for extension work in 1912. Today elected extension councils in every county partner with ISU Extension and Outreach to bring research-based education to their citizens.
Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act in 1914, establishing Cooperative Extension nationwide. This transformational education system operates through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state and local governments.
Today ISU Extension and Outreach is university-wide. This allows us to focus the total resources of Iowa State University on issues that affect all of Iowa, rural and urban. Our programs in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development, Human Sciences and 4-H Youth Development allow us to bring a wide array of educational programs to our citizens across the state.