Cooperative Extension Service

Cooperative Extension Service


  • 1907 First county extension agent

    James A. Butler became North Carolina's first county extension agent, hired to conduct demonstration work in boll weevil eradication.

  • 1908 First extension demonstration

    County Agent James A. Butler arranged for 2.5 acres of corn and 2 acres of cotton to be grown according to U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendations on the farm of J. F. Eagles near Statesville. This was the first farm demonstration in North Carolina.

  • 1909 Corn Clubs established

    College officials signed the first memorandum of understanding for cooperative demonstration work with the United States Department of Agriculture. The memorandum provided for the establishment of the Farmers' Boys' Clubs or Corn Clubs. These clubs are the forerunners of the 4-H program.

  • DefaultMembers of the Robeson County Corn Club attending the 1914 Short Course at the Farm Life School in Philadelphus.
  • 1909 Ira O. Schaub, first 4-H director

    Ira O. Schaub became the first director of the Corn Club work, which eventually grew into 4-H.

  • DefaultI. O. Schaub portrait [!!Duplicate!!]


  • November 1, 1910 First African American Agricultural Extension Agent

    The North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station (located at A&M College) hired Neil Alexander Bailey as its first African American agricultural extension agent.

  • 1911 Home Demonstration began

    Home Demonstration began when the first Girls' Clubs were formed. They focused primarily on tomato canning and gardening and were also called Tomato Clubs. In 1912-1913 mothers of Girls' Club members began to form the first Home Demonstration clubs for adult women.

  • DefaultGroup of agricultural extension members canning produce
  • 11/1/1911 Jane McKimmon, first female extension agent

    Jane S. McKimmon became the first woman to serve as a state home demonstration agent through the Agricultural Extension program at A&M College.

  • DefaultDr. Jane S. McKimmon
  • 1914 Agricultural Extension Service established

    The Smith-Lever Act provided for federal, state, and county cooperation in creating a system to expand demonstration and extension work for men and women. The law authorized land-grant colleges to sign memoranda of understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture to begin such work. NC State then created a new Department of Extension, which became the Agricultural Extension Service.

  • 1914 African American 4-H Clubs

    The first club for African-American youth was created in Sampson County under the leadership of G.W. Herring.

  • 1914 First extension director

    Benjamin W. Kilgore became the first director of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service.

  • DefaultBenjamin W. Kilgore painted portrait
  • 1915 African American 4-H leader

    John Wray became the first statewide African American youth club agent.

  • 1915 First 4-H Club Week

    The first annual 4-H Club Week was held in Raleigh. This annual event later became NC 4-H Congress.

  • DefaultClub members attending the 4-H Boys' Short Course at State College in 1917
  • 2/13/1915 Extension Farm-News begins publication

    This was the first periodical published by the Agricultural Extension Service. Later titles for it were Extension Farm News, Extension News & Advisor, and North Carolina Agricultural Extension Advisor.

  • 1916 Home Demonstration split

    The Girls' Club split off from Home Demonstration, and they eventually became part of 4-H.

  • 1918 Farm forestry extension program established
  • DefaultFarm Forestry Exhibit
  • Early 1918 African American Home Demonstration

    The first Home Demonstration programs were organized for African American women.

  • 1919 First Farm Women's Convention

    The first Farm Women's Convention was held in Raleigh. It was held in connection with the annual Farmer's Convention (which had begun in 1903).

  • 8/1919 Swine demonstration, Pullen Hall

    Swine Extension agents set up a demonstration in front of the old Pullen Hall during the Farmers’ Convention, August 27-29, 1919.

  • DefaultSwine demonstration by Swine Extension office during Farmers' Convention meeting in Pullen Hall, 1919.


  • August 26, 1920 Federation of North Carolina Home Bureaus

    North Carolina Home Demonstration clubs joined to create the North Carolina Federation of Home Bureaus. It was decided and announced at the Farm Men and Farm Women's Convention in Raleigh

  • 1921 Boll weevil eradication

    Elimination of this pest with the state's cotton crop became a major focus of the Agricultural Extension Service

  • DefaultBoll weevil in cotton boll [!!Duplicate!!]
  • 1922 Ricks Hall opens

    Ricks Hall, built by Thomas Wright Cooper and G. Murray Nelson, opens to house the Agricultural Extension Service, Agricultural Economics and Business, Agricultural Information, and Horticulture departments. It was named for Robert Henry Ricks.

  • DefaultRicks Hall
  • 1922 First African American Home Demonstration Agents

    The first African American home demonstration agents were appointed to work with African American farm women, who formed first African American clubs.

  • 1924 Schaub extension director

    Ira O. Schaub became director of the Agricultural Extension Service. He held the position until 1950. In 1926 he also became Dean of Agriculture and in 1937 Director of Agricultural Research.

  • DefaultI. O. Schaub portrait
  • 1924 North Carolina Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs

    The Federation of Home Bureaus changed to the North Carolina Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs.

  • 1925 First extension forester

    Robert Walter Graeber was hired as the extension forester. He served in this position until 1949.

  • DefaultR. W. Graeber
  • 1926 Harrill 4-H leader

    Lera R. Harrill was appointed State 4-H Club Leader. He held this position until 1963.

  • DefaultL. R. Harrill with Washington Monument in background, at first National 4-H Conference, 1927
  • 1926 African American 4-H Short Course

    The first State 4-H Short Course for African American youth was held at North Carolina A & T College in Greensboro.

  • 1926 White Lake 4-H Camp established

    This camp was located in Bladen County, and it was one of the first 4-H Camps in North Carolina.

  • DefaultRichmond County 4-H Club members swimming at 4-H Camp at White Lake, August 1926
  • 1/1927 Epsilon Sigma Phi founded

    The Xi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi was founded at NC State College. It has been an honorary fraternity for professional members of the Cooperative Extension programs.

  • 1928 State Council meeting

    Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs held its first separate business meeting, called the State Council meeting.

  • 1929 Swannanoa 4-H Camp established

    Located in Buncombe County, this camp was originally twelve agriculturally marginal acres that were part of the Swannanoa Branch Station.

  • Default4-H Club camp, Swannanoa, North Carolina, setting up exercises, girls from Buncombe, Madison, Rutherford Counties, July 14-18, 1930


  • 1933 Expansion of Cooperative Extension

    Programs of the federal New Deal agricultural agencies, such as the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), caused an expansion in the activities and programs of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service.

  • DefaultRural Electrific Line, Orange County, December 1937
  • 1937 County agents for entire state

    As a result of expansion under the New Deal agricultural programs, this was the first year that there was a county agent for every county in North Carolina.

  • DefaultCounty agent J. W. Cameron of Anson County and other inspecting oats field
  • 1937 Ruth Current, head of Home Demonstration

    Current succeeded Jane McKimmon, and she served in the position until 1963.

  • DefaultRuth Current portrait
  • 1938 Camp Millstone established

    Sometimes referred to as "The Rocks," this camp was developed originally by the Resettlement Administration on part of the 60,000 acre Sandhills Resettlement Project. It derived its name from the huge granite stones in the area. Starting in 1939, it was the site of the 4-H Wildlife Conservation Camp for several year.

  • DefaultYoung 4-H club members at Camp Millstone


  • 1940 State Federation of Negro Home Demonstration Clubs organized
  • DefaultState council meeting for African Amerian home leaders
  • 7/1940 Kings and Queens of Health

    District kings and queens of health at the 4-H Short Course. NC State has traditionally hosted youth groups on campus during the summers. The North Carolina 4-H Short Courses, State Club Weeks, and State Congresses have been held at NC State since the 1920s.

  • DefaultNorth Carolina State 4-H Club district kings and queens of health at North Carolina State 4-H Short Course
  • 1942 Food for Victory program began

    The 4-H "Food for Victory" program offered awards ranging from to $1 to $250 in war bonds or stamps for farm boys and girls who participated in the "Food for Freedom" extension program. They helped produce more milk, eggs, beef and veal, lamb and mutton, corn, barley, rye, hay, soybeans, peanuts, and vegetables.

  • 2/9-14/1942 Victory Garden Week

    The Agricultural Extension Service sponsored "Victory Garden Week." Women across the state started Victory Gardens the following season, and by 1944 the value of home gardens was estimated at $68,000,000.

  • 4/5-11/1942 4-H Mobilization for Victory Week

    NC 4-H Club members participated in the first national scrap drive in 1942, collecting metal, paper, and rubber. Nationally in 1943 4-H sponsored a "Victory Scrap Drive," and North Carolina 4-H'ers raised $1,700 dollars for the purchase of an ambulance donated to the armed services.

  • 1943 Feed a Fighter program

    4-H club members began participating in the national "Feed a Fighter" campaign, which consisted of projects to produce the amount of food needed for one serviceman for one year. The state winner raised enough food to feed thirty-four servicemen for one year.

  • 7/10/1944 U.S.S. Tyrrell Launched

    State 4-H Club Leader L. R. Harrill and others watch as the U.S.S. Tyrrell is launched from Wilmington. North Carolina 4-H helped fund and name two warships during World War II.

  • DefaultL. R. Harrill and others watching the U.S.S. Tyrrell after it has been launched on July 10th, 1944 from Wilmington, North Carolina
  • 1945 State Council of Negro Home Demonstration Clubs

    State Federation of Negro Home Demonstration Clubs changed to State Council of Negro Home Demonstration Clubs of North Carolina.


  • 1950 School of Agriculture reorganization

    The School of Agriculture was reorganized, bringing three fields of work - teaching, research, and extension - into the direct orbit of the School.

  • 1950 Farm housing project

    The Agricultural Extension Service began to assist farm families through planning of new or remodels homes, kitchen and workroom improvements, and added storage. After a few years thousands of families had been helped.

  • DefaultMrs. James Grady "pouring" in her new kitchen
  • 1950 David S. Weaver, extension director

    David S. Weaver is director of the Agricultural Extension Service until 1961.

  • DefaultDavid Weaver receiving Water Safety Congress award on behalf of Extension Service
  • 1951 Plant Disease Clinic established

    Plant Disease Clinic established in the Department of Plant Pathology as a diagnostic clinic for farmers and gardeners in North Carolina, processing plant specimens sent by mail or in person for immediate disease control recommendations. In 1970 it broadened to become the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic after bringing on scientists from the Department of Entomology.

  • DefaultDisplay of Plant Disease and Insect Clinic
  • 1955 Camp Mitchell Opened

    Camp J.W. Mitchell opened for African American 4-H youth at Hammock's Beach in Onslow County. Funding for the camp had been raised by the 4-H Club Foundation of North Carolina, founded in 1950.

  • 1955 Rural development program

    The Agricultural Extension Service was given the major role in North Carolina is using federal funds to assist low-income rural families through improved agriculture and nonfarm employment.

  • 6/1956 Demonstration of a fistulated cow

    Farmers watched a demonstration of North Carolina State College’s fistulated cow during Farm and Home Week in June 1956. NC Cooperative Extension Service demonstrations like this helped to share knowledge gained at NC State with farmers throughout North Carolina.

  • DefaultMen watching a demonstration of North Carolina State College's fistulated cow, Farm and Home Week, June 1956.
  • 8/1957 "'Baccy Time in the South"

    Mrs. H. H. Weathers, a member of the Wake County Home Demonstration Club, performed in "“’Baccy Time in the South"” as a part of the Farm and Home Week talent night.

  • DefaultWake County Home Demonstration Club member Mrs. H. H. Weathers during Farm and Home Week talent night
  • 1958 North Carolina Organization of Home Demonstration Clubs

    Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs changed to the North Carolina Organization of Home Demonstration Clubs.

  • 1958 Forestry extension split

    The forestry extension program was split into Extension Forest Management and Extension Wood Products.

  • DefaultNorth Carolina State College Extension forestry specialist at a forestry field demonstration coaches a forest owner in the use of a tree scale stick to determine tree volumen and value, 195-.


  • 1961 Robert W. Shoffner, Extension Director

    Robert W. Shoffner is director of the Extension Service until 1963.

  • DefaultRobert W. Shoffner portrait
  • 1962 Forestry Extension moved to School of Forestry

    Forestry extension specialists were transferred from the School of Agriculture to the School of Forestry.

  • 1963 Eloise Cofer becomes the second female full professor

    Twenty-three years after Gertrude Cox's appointment, Eloise Cofer, Extension Professor of Food Science and Assistant Director of the Agricultural Extension Service becomes the second woman to be appointed as a full professor. In 1980, Cofer was named Home Economist of the Year by the N.C. Home Economics Association.

  • DefaultEloise Cofer
  • 1963 Home Economics

    Home Demonstration name changed to Home Economics.

  • 1963 George Hyatt, Extension Director

    George Hyatt served as Director of the Extension Service until 1978.

  • DefaultDr. George Hyatt, Jr. portrait
  • 1964 Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center dedicated

    This facility near Reidsville was originally owned by the Consolidated University of North Carolina. Chinqua-Penn Plantation, on which the center is located, had been given to the university by the Penn family in 1959.

  • DefaultAerial drawing of the Betsy & Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center facilities
  • 1965 Extension Programs Integrate

    Extension programs, including 4-H and Home Economics, began to integrate.

  • DefaultHome economics extension workers, June 12, 1967
  • 1966 North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association

    North Carolina Organization of Home Demonstration Clubs and State Council of Negro Home Demonstration Clubs of North Carolina merged to become North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association.

  • 1969 North Carolina Cooperative Association of Extension 4-H Agents founded.
  • 2/1969 Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program established

    Known as EFNEP, this program was established to help underprivileged North Carolina citizens better their nutritional standards and to educate them about available food assistance programs.

  • DefaultTwo 4-H club members participating in the expanded nutrition program as part of the 4-H health and safety program with an unidentified woman


  • 1973 North Carolina Cooperative Extension Secretaries Association founded
  • 1973 Extension Forest Resources

    Extension Forest Management changed to Extension Forest Resources, but the name changed again at a later date to Extension Forestry.

  • DefaultMeasuring Forest Trees
  • 1974 North Carolina Federation of Cooperative Extension Associations founded

    This organization has existed as a coalition of the NC Association of County Agricultural Agents; the NC Association of Extension 4-H Agents; the NC Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences; the NC Association of Extension Specialist; the NC Cooperative Extension Secretaries Association; and the NC Association of Extension Program Assistants, Associates and Technicians.

  • 1978 T. Carlton Blalock, Extension Director

    T. Carlton Blalock served as Director of the Extension Service until 1981.

  • DefaultT. Carlton Blalock portrait


  • 1981 Chester D. Black, Extension Director

    Chester "Chet" Black served as Director of Extension until 1990.

  • DefaultChester Black portrait
  • 04/24/1981 L.R. Harrill Suite in Ricks Hall dedicated

    The Harrill Suite was named for L.R. Harrill, the former director of the state 4-H organization. He was known as "Mr. 4-H."

  • 1984 Clover All Over Published

    James Clark wrote Clover All Over: North Carolina 4-H in Action. A version of this history of the 4-H program in North Carolina exists on the Internet Archive. An updated print edition was published in 2011, and it is available in the library.


  • 1990 Extension Toxicology Program Began
  • 1990 Robert C. Wells, Extension Director

    Robert Wells was Director of the Extension Service until 1994.

  • DefaultBob Wells portrait
  • 1991 North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

    North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service changed its name to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

  • 1995 Family and Consumer Sciences

    The Home Economics name changed to Family and Consumer Sciences.

  • 1995 North Carolina Extension and Community Association

    North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association became North Carolina Extension and Community Association (NCECA).

  • 1996 Jon Ort, Extension Director

    Jon Ort served as Director of Extension until 2010.


  • 2006 Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences

    The 4-H program and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences were combined into one unit.


  • 2010 Joseph Zublena, Extension Director

    Joseph Zublena served as Director of Extension until 2015.

  • 2011 4-H Historical Exhibit

    To commemorate more than 100 years of 4-H in North Carolina, an exhibit on the history of the organization was displayed in the D.H. Hill Jr. Library.

  • 2011 Family and Consumer Science History

    Wilma Hammett, Jan Christensen, Joan Gosper Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Service: To Family, Community, and North Carolina, a history of the family and consumer science program in North Carolina. A print edition exists in the library.

  • 3/28/2014 Youth, Family, and Community Sciences

    The Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences changed its name to the Department of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences.

  • 2016 A. Rich Bonanno, Director of Extension

    A. Rich Bonanno became Director of Extension in 2016.

  • July 1, 2016 Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences

    The Department of Agricultural and Extension Education merged with the Department of Youth, Family and Community Sciences to become the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences