100 Year Anniversary of Cooperative Extension

Clemson College was already engaged in extension work prior to the passing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. A. Frank Lever, a Clemson life trustee, was devoted to the needs of agriculture and farming interests across South Carolina and the United States.  Like Roosevelt before him, Woodrow Wilson regarded himself as the personal representative of the people.

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which formalized the Cooperative Extension Service, a state-by-state national network of educators who extend university-based knowledge to the people.

As we celebrate 100 years of extending knowledge and changing lives, we also want to celebrate South Carolina’s role as an early leader in the extension movement. The “Clemson Model” of extension became the basis for the Smith-Lever Act, authored by Georgia senator Michael Hoke Smith and South Carolina Representative A. Frank Lever. Lever, a Clemson life trustee, was devoted to the needs of agriculture and farming interests across South Carolina and the United States. He chaired the House Agriculture Committee from 1910-1919, served as a member of the Federal Farm Board (1919-1922), organized the First Carolina Joint Stock Land Bank (1922-1929) and was strongly affiliated with the Farm Credit Administration (1933-1940).

For 100 years, the Smith-Lever Act has stimulated innovative research and vital educational programs for youth and adults through progressive information delivery systems that improved lives and shaped a nation.

Today, the Clemson University Extension Service is proud to deliver research-based information in agriculture, natural resources, food safety and nutrition, economic and community development, and 4-H youth development.

Smith 100 years Tell us your story

My Picture with Frank Lever

My Picture with Frank LeverHappy Birthday Cooperative Extension Service
May 8, 2014
Visit our Frank Lever slideshow to find your picture with Frank Lever ... 

Picture Of The Day

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Extension Games

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A. Francis Lever

A. Francis Lever

Who was the man behind the Smith-Lever Act? Read more about A. Francis Lever ...

100 Years of Leadership

100 Years of Leadership

Did You Know

All Boys 4-H Club
In 1908, A. L. Easterling, Superintendent of Schools in Marlboro County, organized the first Boys' Corn Club, which was a forerunner of the 4-H Clubs.

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Lever FamilyInaugural County Agent Hall of Fame marks centennial of Extension Service
September 10, 2014
It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the start of the A. Frank Lever County Agent Hall of Fame. This is an award that will be announced annually and will be selected by a committee based on ... 

LeverAnnouncing the A. Frank Lever County Agent Hall of Fame Award
July 15, 2014
It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the start of the A. Frank Lever County Agent Hall of Fame. This is an award that will be announced annually and will be selected by a committee based on ... 

Tom DobbinsNew director named for Clemson Extension
May 5, 2014
Thomas R. (Tom) Dobbins has been named director of Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service. His Extension career includes positions as a county agent, area agent and Extension associate, with a focus on...

LeverAn agricultural revolutionary
May 5, 2014
Interred in a shady plot along the periphery of Woodland Cemetery lie the earthly remains of one of the most influential Americans whose name you may have never heard...

Jim ClementsClements praises Clemson’s role in early years of Extension
December 12, 2013
The incoming president of Clemson University on Wednesday praised the school’s transformational role in extending knowledge beyond the campus to reach people in their homes, businesses and farms...

Publications from the Past

Extension Bulletin

1905 Extension Bulletin by the Clemson Agricultural College

The fundamental work of Clemson College is the instruction of students. The general facts in regard to this part of its work are presented annually in the college catalog. But the work of the Experiment Station, the public work of the various divisions of the Department of Agriculture, the work of the fertilizer, entomological and veterinary inspections, and the vast public correspondence carried on by both College and Station officers — all these phases of the work of Clemson College have never yet been presented or defined in any formal way. As with the appearance of this publication a new line of work is begun — the issuing of bulletins for public information along the lines indicated by the college correspondence, it seems well to make some brief statement regarding these various lines of activity.


In 1883 Mr. Thomas G. Clemson "executed a will and testament to provide for the establishment of a scientific institution upon the Fort Hill place." A few years later he amended this will so as to strengthen the purpose he had in view, which is clearly brought out in the following statement: "Feeling a great sympathy for the farmers of this State, and the difficulties with which they have had to contend in their efforts to establish the business of agriculture upon a proper basis, and believing there can be no permanent improvement in agriculture without a knowledge of those sciences which pertain particularly thereto, I have determined to devote the bulk of my property to the establishment of an agricultural college upon the Fort Hill place."

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My Story

Annette ReynoldsAnnette Reynolds - Colleton County
I joined the 4-H Club in fifth grade. My 4-H Agents were dynamite. I loved the club and the 4-H uniform with the crinoline skirt. I won a corn muffin contest at the end of the year and decided I wanted to be a 4-H Agent. My projects were clothing, gardening, woodworking, electric, foods and nutrition. I started work as a 4-H agent on July 1, 1970.   

On July 2nd the male agent who was my partner informed me that we would be vaccinating chickens all month long. We had 2,000 chickens, 1,000 a piece – 50 per family. He would help me with ‘mine’ and I would help him with his. I did not know anything about the poultry project. I didn't know how to vaccinate a chicken so I hoped he would do the vaccination and this would be my training. He was counting on doing those vaccinations because he was also counting on me helping the families catch the chickens! Read more...