Celebrating 100 Years of Extension’s
Service to West Virginia
Smith-Lever is 100!Not every organization can claim to have been created by an act of Congress. The year was 1914, and the United States Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act, creating a unique educational system called the National Cooperative Extension Service.
Indeed, our faculty agents, specialists, and staff are the “extension” of the University, and our WVU Extension county offices are the front door to the university in all 55 West Virginia counties.
Trusted Traditions, Progressive Solutions
The West Virginia University Extension Service is celebrating a century of service to the state by sharing its noteworthy history.
Although familiar today, the National Cooperative Extension Service was quite unique in the world of early 20th century education. The new system combined cooperative support by federal, state and county partnerships with trained educators who would translate research from each state’s land-grant university into practical, useful information for the state’s citizens.
That’s how the WVU Extension Service was born. It’s survived by being innovative, remaining connected and committed to West Virginia and its citizens, and helping West Virginia University to meet its mission as a land-grant institution.
Did you know that Extension specialists and county agents are actually WVU faculty members? Or that while some states have made significant cuts to their Extension programs, West Virginia still maintains a WVU Extension office in every county?
WVU Extension brings you such programs as:
- W.Va. Master Gardeners
- Community Educational Outreach Service
- Dining with Diabetes
- Energy Express
- Family Nutrition
- Summer Steps
- ATV Safety
- Youth Agriculture and Livestock
- W.Va. Welcome
- Community First Impressions
- Oil and Gas Education
- and many other programs…
WVU Extension operates the W.Va. State Fire Training Academy, WVU Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp, the Institute for Labor Studies and Research, the Community Leadership Academy, the Small Farm Center, the WVU Reedsville Farm, and participates in other research-based efforts across the state. Extension also provides training to community leaders, local government officials, business owners, and entrepreneurs to strengthen our small towns and communities and provide jobs.
Additionally, Extension partners with WVU colleges, like the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, to make a greater impact in municipalities and communities across West Virginia through WVU programs like the Community Design Team, and more.