Centennial message from Cooperative Extension Dean & Director Rick Klemme

Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Rick KlemmeDear Colleagues,

I want to give you an update on the 2012 Centennial Celebration activities for Cooperative Extension. Celebrations are important, and I am excited that we will be acknowledging our centennial in a variety of ways. Our centennial creates opportunities for us to celebrate 100 years of Cooperative Extension history through stories that highlight how we’ve evolved and changed through the years. We can illustrate how our past served as the foundation for us to build upon our current work. And, we can explain how our current work will positively influence the future.

The centennial helps us illustrate the relevance of Cooperative Extension; engage people in their memories; create opportunities for us to celebrate our past, present and future; thank our clients, funding partners and friends; and celebrate our educational programming. Since financial resources are scarce, I’ve asked that we use existing resources, partnerships and events as the basis for our celebrations, both internal and external.

I created a small centennial steering committee in February 2010 to help lay the foundation for our event. This group created a purpose, vision and goals for the centennial, which can be seen at our Centennial Celebration website at https://100.ces.uwex.edu/. This group also conducted a survey of colleagues and retirees in February and March 2011. We asked you how you would like to celebrate the centennial, and what you would need to celebrate. Based on your survey responses, we created four centennial committees: History, Traditional Media, Social Media and Public Displays.

These committees are creating resources you can use to help celebrate our centennial at internal events, like our County Leadership Conference in March 2012; the Joint Council of Extension Professionals conference in April 2012; and program area conferences throughout 2012. Resources created by these work teams also will help us celebrate our centennial at events like the Garden Expo in February; our 2012 WACEC Conference in Green Bay in June; Farm Technology Days 2012 in Outagamie County in July; at our county fairs; at the 2012 State Fair in August; and at the Wisconsin Counties Association Conference in September 2012. A current calendar of events where we will infuse our celebration is available on the centennial blog.

Most importantly, we ask you to think about events you will be participating in, and partnerships in which you are involved, where you can help us spread the word about our centennial. This week we are sharing with you via email a variety of information about the centennial. Tomorrow you will receive a generic press release; Wednesday you will receive the centennial logo and potential uses. Thursday we will send you a “call to action” and a few suggestions about how you can celebrate the centennial locally. Friday we will send you a link to a site to order centennial clothing.

Throughout the year, we will offer centennial updates via email and during the monthly dean’s wislines. In addition, new resources will be available at the centennial website. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback about ways we can celebrate our centennial.

Thank you,


Rick Klemme
Dean and Director
UW Extension-Cooperative Extension
432 N. Lake St., Rm. 601
Madison WI  53706-1498
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One thought on “Centennial message from Cooperative Extension Dean & Director Rick Klemme

  1. I am just starting involvment with the history committee. This feels like the right place for my involvement. It dovetails with my interest in records management. I am interested to see how some promotion about the celebration could contribute to the development of improved archives collection and access to the archives. This will help continue to tell the story of Cooperative Extension for years into the future.

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