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Elaine Marshall:
Extension made me who I am today

N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who grew up as a 4-H’er on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, credits 4-H and Cooperative Extension with helping her become who she is today.

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group photo

Elaine Marshall:
Extension made me who I am today

N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who grew up as a 4-H’er on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, credits 4-H and Cooperative Extension with helping her become who she is today.

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From left: Mitchell Lewis, host of "North Carolina Now," discusses Extension's centennial with Dr. Fletcher Barber, associate administrator for Extension at N.C. A&T State University, and Dr. Joe Zublena, Extension director at N.C. State University.From left: Mitchell Lewis, host of "North Carolina Now," discusses Extension's centennial with Dr. Fletcher Barber, associate administrator for Extension at N.C. A&T State University, and Dr. Joe Zublena, Extension director at N.C. State University.

State Extension
leaders share Centennial highlights on UNC-TV

Cooperative Extension's 100 years of service and its ongoing mission and programs are the topic of a UNC-TV interview with Extension leaders Dr. Joe Zublena, of N.C. State University, and Dr. Fletcher Barber, of N.C. A&T State University.

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timeline

A century of
impact

North Carolina Cooperative Extension has been extending lives and changing lives for 100 years. Our online timeline provides a glimpse into our beginnings and the impact we've had on our state's economy, environment and quality of life.

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boy holding chicken, girls in science lab

Then and Now: Youth
programs from corn and tomatoes to STEM

Poultry club members Carl and Richard Lutz show the earliest side of 4-H.[/caption] Cooperative Extension got its start through two youth organizations, with the idea that parents might adopt skills they learned from their children. Boys Corn Clubs came first, teaching boys to grow corn using scientific methods. The club members’ impressive yields led their fathers to come to these junior farmers for seed corn.  In the Girls Tomato Clubs, members grew tomatoes in a tenth of an acre, selling the fresh market tomatoes and preserving the extras for home use and sale. Mothers soon began to request home demonstration clubs of their own. Brevard High School students are involved in TIME for Real Science.[/caption] 4-H is today’s Cooperative Extension youth program, but even 4-H looks different than it did 50 years ago. While some 4-H’ers still exhibit livestock, others participate in STEM programs -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 4-H robotics programs and clubs teach youth to create simple machines. In Brevard, 4-H partnered with a local high school to create an advanced class called TIME for Real Science where students are engaged in university-level research.

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Then/Now Energy

Then and Now: From
Rural electrification to energy conservation to biofuels

Cooperative Extension programs related to energy and electricity have grown from early rural electrification efforts to include educational activities related to growing crops for biofuels, conserving energy at homes, as well as an annual 4-H Electric Congress. Here, a 1960s 4-H'er fixes a coffee percolator as part of an electricity demonstration. (photo from NCSU Libraries' Digital Program)[/caption] Then: Lighting up rural America: In the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal included new programs to benefit farmers and conserve natural resources. One of these, the Rural Electrification Administration, aimed to encourage the extension of electrical lines into rural areas. In the 1930s, federal agencies turned to the land-grant colleges to help administer their programs, and at N.C. State, the organization was already in place to respond, as Extension workers and agents assisted in the logistics of bringing electric service to rural families. One of those leading the efforts was agricultural engineering specialist David S. Weaver, who would be called “the father of rural electrification in North Carolina.” On Sept. 15, 1935, in North Carolina, the rural electrification branch of the Extension service was created to help communities organize cooperatives and make use of electricity when it became available to their homes and farms. By 1939, 28.4 percent of the farms in the state had become electrified. And with electricity, other labor-savers arrived: In 1938, with Extension’s help, 1,885 home water systems were installed in 78 counties. Through the E-Conservation programs, Cooperative Extension’s Dr. Sarah Kirby and Amy Chilcote help homeowners be more efficient in their energy use. (Photo by Becky Kirkland)[/caption] Now: In 2005, the Cooperative Extension Service created the E-Conservation Program with funding from the State Energy Office to inform and educate North Carolina consumers about ways to both reduce energy use and increase energy efficiency in the home. This project is designed to educate and empower consumers to be proactive in reducing their home energy consumption and in saving money through no-and low-cost energy efficiency measures, behavioral changes and home retrofits. The Consumer Energy Education Project has been active since March 2005. Wilson County middle-schoolers follow the 4-H curriculum in conducting hands-on experiments on biofuel sources. (Photo Courtesy Amy Chilcote)[/caption] Meanwhile, Extension’s efforts in support of biofuels begin with its youth: 4-H, Extension’s youth education program, with assistance from the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, has worked to develop a national biofuels curriculum. The curriculum development is being led by North Carolina due to its strong program, good agricultural universities and Extension services, and biofuels leadership as a result of programs already rolled out by the Biofuels Center and other organizations. Moreover, as county middle schoolers took part in piloting the curriculum, one result was the prompting of interest in agricultural and biofuels careers. From helping consumers understand what they can do at home to conserve energy, to educating a range of ages about energy and alternative fuel sources, Extension’s work in this area continues to enrich the lives of North Carolina citizens.

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Photo of the Week: Sept. 10, 2014

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Centennial Celebration Video Now Available

NC Cooperative Extension celebrated 100 years of Cooperative Extension on May 19th at the Expo Center of the NC State Fairgrounds.   More than 1,000 people attended for dinner and a program celebrating Extension’s MORE »

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Clients tell Johnston County story

For the Johnston County Report to the People, county Extension professionals videotaped testimonials from clients describing how Extension had changed their lives. Watch YouTube MORE »

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