University of Illinois Extension Celebrates a Century of Service

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University of Illinois Extension

One hundred years ago, Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, officially creating the national Cooperative Extension Service. Along with other Extension services across the nation, the University of Illinois Extension celebrates its centennial this year.

From establishing Illinois 4-H to developing the Master Gardener program, the Illinois Extension has played a significant role in the state’s agriculture sector. Though rooted in the rural farming community, it has expanded over the years to serve suburban and urban residents as well, from home gardening lessons to healthy living tips.

“I am very excited about the future of Extension,” says George Czapar, Ph.D., associate dean and director of Extension and Outreach. “We have a structure in place to deliver high-quality programs locally, regionally and through distance education. We continue to have a very strong volunteer base for our programs, and more than 2.5 million Illinois residents take part in our programs each year.”

To showcase its history, Extension has set up a website featuring historical postcards from 4-H Memorial Camp, a scrapbook, a timeline of important events over the past decade and even a game to test your knowledge of the Extension service.

Visit the website and learn more about the 100-year celebration at

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