March has been designated as Extension Month throughout America. The Extension Service was formally established in 1914 through the Smith-Lever Act which required an Extension Service presence in each county. The goal of the Extension Service is to improve the lives of the people through education and research. The roots of the Extension Service was laid before the Smith-Lever Act. The Morrell Act established a system of Land Grant Universities. The Hatch Act of the late 1800’s created Agricultural Experiment Stations at the Land Grant Universities. The Smith-Lever Act created the mechanism by which research based information would be disseminated from the Experiment Stations and Universities to the people throughout the State.
The Extension Service has played an important role throughout time. In the 1930’s Home Demonstration Clubs taught farm women food canning practices to help get through the Great Depression. In the 1940’s the Extension Service was one of the agencies that sold war bonds. Extension also encouraged planting Victory Gardens to help increase food supply during World War II. The Extension Service worked with Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in electrifying rural America.
In the 1950’s Extension worked with World War II vets to teach modern agricultural practices. In the 1980’s counties implemented variety research trials.
The Carroll County Extension Service is administered through the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Programs are conducted in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Rural Community Development, 4-H, and Family and Consumer Science.
4-H is conducted through all 5 county school systems as well as with the Home School Group. 4-H is available to students in grades 4-12. The purpose of 4-H is to teach life-skills to youth. 4-H meets monthly in classrooms throughout the county. Educational programs are conducted which support testing standards for the grades. Contest which promote the development of life-skills are also conducted in the clubs. Out of school activities such as camps, conferences, judging events, project activities, workshops and citizenship events are all part of 4-H.
Family and Community Science programs teach residents programs in human development, environmental health and housing, community health, consumer economics, and nutrition and food safety.
Programs in Ag and Natural Resources include work with beef and row crop producers, vegetable producers, Home owners, land owners, and small farmers. Advanced Master Beef classes are taught annually, assistance with Tennessee Ag Enhancement Grants, and Pesticide Training and Certification are also parts of the the ag program. The Extension Service also works with those opening small ag related business ventures.
The Carroll County Extension Staff includes Michelle Sanders- Administrative Assistant, Lacey Yeley- Family and Consumer Science Agent, and Kenny Herndon- County Director/Ag and Natural Resources Agent. WE are currently in the process of hiring a 4-H Agent.
For more information on the UT Extension Service-Carroll County contact the office at 731-986-1976 or stop by our offices located at 625 High Street Suite 107 Huntingdon, Tn. The University of Tennessee does not discriminate and offers its programs to all eligible participants. The Extension Service is an equal opportunity employer.