This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) in Hawaiʻi and the 100th anniversary of 4-H, now a component of CES. Housed in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, CES is the world’s largest non-traditional education system found in almost all of the 3,150 counties in the 50 states as well as all of the U.S. Territories. In Hawaiʻi, about 500 people are impacted by CES every day.
“As we celebrate the anniversaries of 4-H and extension in Hawaiʻi, it is good to know what that means,” said CTAHR Dean Nicholas Comerford. “4-H is a program that teaches youth about the proper way to live through the use of heart, head, hand and health. It is a message that any parent would want their child exposed to. 4-H is now part of extension, and this is the outreach education program for farmers, ranchers, natural resources managers and families that strives to help folks be successful in their lives.”
Educational outreach to the community, or extension, is the third major component of land-grant universities, such as UH Mānoa, along with instruction and research. The partnership between federal, state and local governments provides science-based information and educational programs in agriculture, natural resources and human resources.
CTAHR’s Cooperative Extension Service will be celebrating its rich history on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballrooms. Stakeholders, federal, state and local government partners, and retirees are invited to join in looking forward to the future of CES. The registration deadline is October 26.
Promoting practical information
The national Cooperative Extension Service was created in 1914 with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, which authorized Congress to fund agricultural colleges to “aid in diffusing among people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture and home economics, and to encourage the application of the same.” Extension programs in Hawaiʻi began both earlier and later than that date.
Hawaiʻi’s Cooperative Extension Service upholds CTAHR’s mission to create and deliver knowledge that supports and strengthens families, agricultural and food systems, and the natural environment by educating and serving the people of Hawaiʻi and around the world with integrity and excellence.
In addition, extension programs support Hawaiʻi’s agriculture industry and the state’s move toward greater food and fuel self-sufficiency and help protect natural resources. They address the human environment as well, supporting youth development, strengthening families, promoting healthful living, building community leadership and nurturing food and fiber business development.