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State legislators unanimously support 100 years of Cooperative Extension

(MADISON) — It’s unanimous! Wisconsin’s 132 state legislators passed a joint resolution Tuesday in the senate and assembly to honor Cooperative Extension’s 100th anniversary.

Assembly Joint Resolution 110, authored by Rep. Joan Ballweg (R, AD 41) and co-authored by Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R, SD 13) was passed unanimously by the Assembly and Senate. The joint resolution states, “Whereas, this centennial will be commemorated at public events held throughout the year and around the state; now, therefore, be it AJR110,2,13 resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, that the legislature congratulates Cooperative Extension on the occasion of its centennial.”

UW-Extension and UW Colleges Chancellor Ray Cross told the assembly, “Way back in 1906, Wisconsin was the very first state university to create an official division of University Extension, which the legislature then funded. Five years later, the legislature provided funding for the first Cooperative Extension county educator, so that in February 1912 one Ernest Leonard Luther began his work visiting farms up in Oneida County.”

Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Richard Klemme said during the presentation, “Just as E. L. Luther rode the back roads, visiting Oneida County farms on his Indian motorcycle 100 years ago, we spend our days in the schools, on the farms, in the courthouses, at the food banks, in the community gardens, at the county fairs, and at the businesses in the state.” He added, “We go wherever the people of Wisconsin go. As we do, we build the relationships that people need to be able to tackle tough problems together.”

Wisconsin Eye recorded the event as part of their coverage of Wisconsin state Senate and Assembly proceedings; you can watch here.

Wisconsin residents benefit from more than 1.3 million educational contacts each year through Cooperative Extension’s programs, including more than 500,000 related to agriculture and businesses, 497,000 related to families, and 356,000 involving youth in all 72 counties in Wisconsin.

A division of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension works with local, state and federal partners to offer educational programs that address the learning needs of individuals, businesses, families, farms, and rural and urban communities around the state.

Cooperative Extension is located in 72 counties and on three tribal nations and serves as the portal to educational resources from the University of Wisconsin, providing research-based information. More information about Cooperative Extension and the centennial is available online at www.yourcountyextensionoffice.org.

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