May 8, 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).
Today, Clemson Extension agents continue to provide a wide variety of research-based information to the people of South Carolina. Agents are located in all 46 counties and at the University's five Research and Education Centers.