Ohio State University Extension – Gallia County is pleased to announce that May 8, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service. The Smith-Lever Act requires cooperation between county, state and federal governments and encourages priorities to be established locally to meet the needs of each county.

The Cooperative Extension Service is a unique educational partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the nation’s land-grant universities that extends research-based knowledge through a state-by-state network of local Extension professionals – bringing it to people where they live and work. The Smith-Lever Act has stimulated innovative research and educational programs for youth and adults that have improved lives and shaped a nation.

In Ohio, OSU Extension makes more than 1.5 million educational contacts each year and reaches Ohioans in each of our 88 counties. Our programs focus on strengthening families and communities, preparing youth for success, enhancing agriculture and the environment, and advancing employment and income opportunities. We engage with more than 240,000 young people through 4-H programming and connect with 29,000+ volunteers throughout the state.

OSU Extension is a dynamic educational entity that partners with individuals, families, communities, business and industry, and organizations to strengthen the lives of Ohioans. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

In Gallia County, some of our most well-known Extension programs are in our 4-H and our Ag. and Natural Resources programs. We work with the local farmers market and auction; we conduct pesticide and GAP programming as well as help with the county fair. With our 4-H program we reach over 1500 people throughout the community, and have over 1000 4-H members in 4-H clubs as well as other out-of-school and after-school activities.

A national celebration of the Smith-Lever Act will take place during the Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation on May 8 in Washington, DC. Bruce A. McPheron, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Keith L. Smith, director, OSU Extension; and several others will represent Ohio at the convocation. This includes Hannah Epley, 4-H youth development educator in Fairfield County, and two 4-H Teen Advisory Council members – Emma Newell, Fairfield County, and Britta Fenstermaker, Hancock County.

The national efforts will be complemented by various state and local activities. The Extension Centennial will be recognized during Ohio State Fair activities (July 23-August 3), Farm Science Review (September 16-18), the Celebration of Youth sponsored by the Ohio 4-H Foundation (September 20), Ohio State’s homecoming game (October 18), and other homecoming weekend activities.

In Gallia County, we will be celebrating 100 years of Extension at the Gallia County Junior Fair July 28th through August 2nd . More information about all Ohio activities is available online at http://go.osu.edu/OSUEcentennial. Information about national events is posted online at http://extension100years.net. For those who tweet, follow @Ext100years and watch hashtag #EXT100years.

OSU Extension also has published Memories and Milestones of Ohio State University Extension 1905-2013, which is available for purchase at http://estore.osu-extension.org; type the title of the book in the search box.