YADKINVILLE — On Monday, members of the Yadkin County Cooperative Extension office gave their annual report to the county commissioners. Commissioners and other guests enjoyed a home-cooked meal prepared by the Extension Community Association volunteers.
Jim Cowden, north central district extension director, welcomed the group and said it was a great year for the Cooperative Extension as the organization is celebrating its centennial. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Level Act which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System.
“In North Carolina we’re very proud to have a strong Cooperative Extension and the volunteer base and the very diverse agriculture we have,” he said.
Brent Hunter, advisory leadership council chair, introduced the county commissioners and advisory council members. Agriculture and Livestock Agent Phil Rucker also shared some thoughts with the group.
The program for the evening’s event listed the accomplishments the local extension office achieved in 2013. The group had 558 volunteers in Extension programs last year who completed 2,298 hours of service to the office. There were 94 educational programs conducted. There were 60 high school students who participated in 4H clubs last year.
The extension office also is continuing to increase programming focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in the school system. Students participate in a variety of STEM programs such as embryology where they learn about the life cycle of hatching baby chickens. On Agriculture Awareness Day, 425 second-grade students learned about the value of farms and on Environmental Field Day, 409 sixth-grade students learned about environmental protection and natural resources.
County Extension Director Colleen Church shared a slide show presentation with the group of past and present photos of volunteers and Yadkin County Cooperative Extension events.
On May 15, the agency will hold a volunteer appreciation and centennial celebration for the Yadkin County Cooperative Extension Agency. A celebration of the centennial of the Smith-Lever act will take place in Washington, D.C., on May 7 and 8 and on May 19 and 20 in Raleigh.
During the slide show, Church recapped some of the history of past events and group projects done by Extension volunteers and 4H students.
Present day 4H students participate in a variety of volunteer activities such as baking cookies for Yadkin Christian Ministries and helping to deliver Thanksgiving meals to those in need.
“The 4H-ers are always involved in a lot of great community service still today,” Church said.
For more information on the programs offered by the Yadkin County Extension office, visit http://yadkin.ces.ncsu.edu or call the office at 336-679-2061.
Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.