A resolution recognizing a century of transforming Tennessee by celebrating the 100th Anniversary of UT Extension and Tennessee 4-H.

WHEREAS, the first part-time agricultural agents were hired in six Tennessee counties in 1910 to do “demonstration” work, even before the enactment of the Smith-Lever act, during a time when farm families were struggling to survive and U.S. economies began to transition from agriculture to industrialization; and

WHEREAS, in 1911 six home demonstration agents were hired to work with farm women and girls and Madison County became the first Tennessee county to match federal funds to employ a county agent; and

WHEREAS, the Smith-Lever Act was passed in 1914 and, under its provisions the University of Tennessee College of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture organized the Tennessee Division of Extension and the Tennessee General Assembly authorized the University of Tennessee to conduct agricultural extension work in 1915; and

WHEREAS, Extension activities increased to meet the demand for food and supplies during World War I and World War II, educating farm families to produce and conserve food, clothing production and repair, home sanitation and healthy diet, home nursing and helped marshal farm women and girls to feed ailing families; and

WHEREAS, During World War II, Tennessee 4-H members turned their attention from individual service projects to war food production, bond sales and other wartime activities and surpassed the goal of each member producing enough food to support one service member. 4-H members invested their personal savings in $300,000 worth of war bonds. So significant were the contributions of Tennessee 4-H members that in 1944, the U.S. Maritime Commission granted Tennessee 4-H the honor of naming a ship. Members assisted at the christening of the Liberty Ship S.S. Charles A. Keffer, named after the first director of Tennessee extension; and

WHEREAS, teaching and maintaining education programs with people who live in poverty became a focus of UT Extension’s Family and Consumer Science Program. And, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and the Tennessee Nutrition and Consumer Education Program (TNCEP), which still today delivers education through locally based paraprofessionals. Extension professionals AND program assistants teach nutrition, food preparation and food safety, as well as the importance of physical activity and health; and

WHEREAS, UT Extension and the UT Agricultural Experiment Station along with the National Soil Conservation Service in 1980 launched the Save Our Soil Campaign in an effort to promote and teach no till crop production techniques. The average rate of erosion for cropland in Tennessee was 40 tons per acre per year. Now, the rate of erosion is eight tons per acre per year; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative was created to jump-start a new bioenergy industry in the state by building and operating a pilot scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in East Tennessee, and UT Extension has led the farmer incentive program for establishing switchgrass as an energy crop. By 2009, more than 2,600 acres of Switchgrass on 38 farms were planted in East Tennessee to feed the biorefinery in Vonore, Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, UT Extension has addressed issues brought on by the economic crisis by developing strategies for managing stress, Extension specialists and agents teach practical steps that families facing financial crisis need to take to reduce spending, manage credit and make lifestyle adjustments to new economic realities. Extension identifies local support for helping families and engages families in transformation to more secure, sustainable and healthy approaches to living in changing times; and

WHEREAS, UT Extension, Davidson County, has been in partnership with the Davidson County Government since the early 1930’s, providing researched based programming in Agriculture, Family Consumer Sciences, Community Resource Development and 4-H Youth Development to the communities and the citizens of Davidson County and will continue to address the needs of the county in these changing times, today, and in the future; and

WHEREAS, UT Extension’s educational programs met the real needs of the past, are relevant today, and will meet critical societal needs of the future. As dedicated Extension professionals across the state work for and among the state’s homes, farms, businesses and communities, they continue to commit their heads, hands and hearts to the task of transforming Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes the 100th Anniversary of UT Extension and Tennessee 4-H and wish them continued success in the future.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing a century of transforming Tennessee by celebrating the 100th Anniversary of UT Extension and Tennessee 4-H.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Mr. George M. Kilgore.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Parker Toler


Referred: Rules & Confirmations Committee 
Introduced: November 4, 2010
Adopted: November 4, 2010
Approved: November 5, 2010