You might have noticed that 2014 is a very special year for Cooperative Extension. For our current and past staff members, 4-H youth and leaders of yesterday and today, Extension “homemakers” or better known now as the “Extension and Community Association” and of course our agricultural cooperators and clientele served throughout the years. May 8 marked a significant day in history for us all — the signing of the Smith-Lever Act, marking the beginning of Extension across our great nation. Of course, Extension in Sampson county began even earlier, in 1911. Folks here knew there was a need, and 103 years later for us, there still is.
On May 5, a local celebration was held for Sampson County to celebrate this great historical timeframe. Key leaders of years gone by were recognized, such as “uncle” George Herring, Frank Harris, Cuyler Heath, Tommy Glover, Worth Gurkin, George Upton, Pieter Westerbeek, Susan Lyday, Iris Lucas, Anna Peele, and the list goes on and on. What a legacy of leaders and educators we have in this great county! Thanks so much to the many supporters that came out and celebrated this great milestone of our history.
From the days of the corn and canning clubs, to the robotics and Juntos clubs of today, 4-H is strong. On farm crop research continues, while the farmer, the crops and the equipment alike are much smarter, stronger, and efficient. Food preservation techniques have evolved into healthier and safer food preparation, leading to healthy families learning to grow and buy local foods. So much of what we have done over the years has not changed, but yet, in many ways it has.
We still thrive on being one of the strongest agricultural counties in the state of North Carolina, and we always will. We will always have goals of raising healthy families, while teaching our youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. In Cooperative Extension, as we embark on our next 100 years, you are invited to join us! For youth and adults of Sampson County, rest assured there is a connection you have, or can have with us. Please join us as we begin the next centennial, and learn how Extension can help you.
The Cooperative Extension Center is located at 55 Agriculture Place, on the Southern Campus of Sampson County Government, just off highway 421, south of Clinton. Contact us at 910-592-7161 or visit us at: sampson.ces.ncsu.edu.
(Editor’s Note: Eileen Coite is the director of the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.)