Photo (l to r): State Rep. Robert Haefner, Celina Walker, UNH President Mark Huddleston, Governor Maggie Hassan, UNH Cooperative Extension Dean and Director John Pike, and State Rep. Robert Theberge.
UNH Cooperative Extension celebrated its one-hundredth birthday alongside Governor Maggie Hassan, UNH President Mark Huddleston, lawmakers, state commissioners, county officials, and Extension volunteers and clientele on May 7 during a ceremony in the Executive Council Chambers at the State House in Concord.
Extension Dean and Director John Pike said, “We’re here today because tomorrow—May 8—marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the federal act that created Cooperative Extension nationwide.”
He was referring to the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which called for the nation’s land-grant universities to create an outreach arm dedicated to educating the citizens of the state for the public good—the Cooperative Extension System.
Pike thanked representatives from the state’s congressional delegation and members of the New Hampshire legislature for being present at the ceremony. He also thanked State Reps. Robert Haefner and Robert Theberge for their service on Extension’s centennial planning committee and their continuous support of UNH Cooperative Extension.
“You are the ones who help bring UNH Cooperative Extension services to the people of the state where they work and live,” he said. “We could not do our important work without you, and we are grateful to see many of you here today.”
Celina Walker, a 4-H member and high-school senior from Pelham, spoke about how the 4-H program has shaped her.
“I always strive to be better,” Walker said. “That’s the 4-H way.”
UNH President Mark Huddleston described Extension’s work as inspirational, saying it gives “real expression” to its sense of commitment to the public welfare.
During her remarks, Governor Hassan cited several examples of Extension’s work in food and agriculture, natural resources, community and economic development, and 4-H, youth, and family development, saying that “Extension is always focused on the greater common vision,” and the work is a “key value” in a state that values education.
Governor Hassan closed the ceremony with the reading of a commendation to commemorate the anniversary.
Extension ‘s exhibit commemorating its one-hundredth year of work in New Hampshire, “Bringing the University to You: A Century of Service to the Granite State,” will be on display through June 30 at the N.H. State Library in Concord.
Story by Holly Young, UNH Cooperative Extension