This month the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service joins other Cooperative Extension services around the United States in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the federal Smith-Lever Act on May 8, 1914.
This act provides for cooperative agricultural Extension work at the nation’s land-grant colleges and county governments who are vital partners in that work. As part of the statewide celebration, Extension’s Building a Better Texas Award was presented to Wise County commissioners last week for decades of cooperation and support.
We want our county government to know how much we appreciate the partnership we have developed over the years. Without their support, we would not have been able to serve the people of Wise County as well as we have, and many residents would have missed opportunities to benefit from the practical, university-based information that Extension offers.
AgriLife Extension provides dozens of popular programs, including Texas 4-H and Youth Development, Walk Across Texas, Do Well Be Well with Diabetes, Better Living for Texans, the Passenger Safety Project and many more.
It also works one-on-one with local farmers, ranchers and landowners; provides wildlife services; diagnoses plant diseases; tests soil, water and forage; trains food handlers and pesticide applicators; and even trains county officials in the basics of serving their communities.
Headquartered at Texas A&M University in College Station, AgriLife Extension is a member of the Texas A&M University System. It is linked in a unique partnership with the nationwide Cooperative Extension System through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and through Texas county governments.
County governments help provide locations and funding for county Extension office facilities, oversee budgets and appropriations and help AgriLife Extension staff identify program goals.
AgriLife Extension Director Dr. Douglas Steele said it best, “By building coalitions with county governments and collaborating with other public and private groups and organizations – and with the help of our more than 100,000 volunteers – AgriLife Extension conducts educational programs that address the diverse range of contemporary and emerging issues affecting the residents of our state. By presenting this award, we hope to show just how much the spirit of cooperation within each county means to us, and to all Texans, as we celebrate a century of success in Extension education and look forward to extending knowledge and providing solutions in the future.”
For information on how the Wise County Extension office can serve as a resource for you, call us at 940-627-3341.
Tanya Davis is a Wise County Extension agent.