WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing yesterday 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 have also introduced a bipartisan resolution commemorating the anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act.
Video from yesterday’s Subcommittee hearing can be found here.