Subcommittee Recognizes Contributions of Cooperative Extension Service to Agriculture, Youth Development & Rural Communities


Subcommittee Recognizes Contributions of Cooperative Extension Service to Agriculture, Youth Development & Rural Communities

Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, today held a public hearing to review the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 in advance of the 100th anniversary of its enactment on May 8, 2014. The Act created the Cooperative Extension Service, which is an educational partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the nation's land-grant universities. Its purpose is to support research, education, and extension programs at land-grant universities and other partnerships to address problems in food, agriculture, natural resources, youth development, and community economic development.

“The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established an invaluable partnership through the national Cooperative Extension Service between land-grant colleges conducting research and the farmer who was able to apply that information to improve his farming system, thereby improving lives and leading our nation into an agricultural revolution. In my state, the Georgia Extension Services continue to serve as an essential resource for Georgians by providing research-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families. I thank each of our witnesses for providing their valuable testimony today and look forward to further evaluation of the state of the Cooperative Extension Service to ensure a successful model of cooperative extension education for many years to come,” said Chairman Austin Scott (R-GA-8).

"Cooperative extension programs, which were authorized by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, represent the type of achievement in public policy that we should all celebrate and work to replicate here in Congress. The public-private partnerships, community engagement, and cooperation between our land-grant universities and the agriculture community is second to none. In this era of growing budget constraints, I strongly believe this is an area where we should continue robust, leveraged federal investment," said Ranking Member Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5).

Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Schrader introduced a resolution to recognize the anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below.

Witness List:

Panel I

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Tess Hammock, National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, Youth Class, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Dr. A. Scott Reed, Vice Provost, University Outreach and Engagement & Director, Oregon State University Extension Service, Corvallis, Oregon

Mr. Delbert T. Foster, Acting Vice President, Land-Grant Services, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina

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3.4.2014