Good Fruit Grower

April 1

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 63

16 APRIL 1, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER uring my 15 years at Clemson University in South Carolina prior to moving to Washington, I would reg- ularly go running for exercise during the lunch hour. Often, I would run along the path through the Woodland Cemetery on campus, where there's a historical marker for a very important South Carolinian, Asbury Francis Lever. Lever was both a U.S. congressman and a Clemson College life trustee. While in the U.S. Congress from 1901 to 1919, he chaired the House Agriculture Committee and cosponsored the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. On May 8, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of this act that established the national Cooperative Extension Service at the state agricultural colleges. Wayne Rasmussen, former U.S. Department of Agriculture historian, in his 1989 book, Tak- ing The University to the People, quoted President Woodrow Wilson, who described the act as "one of the most signifi cant and far-reaching measures for the education of adults ever adopted by the government." Washington State was ahead of the curve when, a year earlier, the state legislature passed a law creating extension work through the Bureau of Farm Development at Washington State College. Much agricultural growth has occurred across the nation during the last century. This has been signifi cantly and positively infl uenced by agricultural research and extension through the land-grant universi- ties. In Washington, for example, the State Department of Agriculture reported that the 2012 food and agricultural industry was valued at nearly $50 billion (13 percent of the state's economy) and employed 160,000 people. Known internationally as a tree fruit state, Washington is the top U.S. producer of apples, pears, and sweet cherries with a com- bined total value of production in 2012 of nearly $3 billion. An estimated one-third of tree fruit production is exported to other countries. Research commission Besides federal and state formula funding to support agricultural research and extension activities, the Washington state legislature passed the Tree Fruit Research Act in 1969 that established the Wash- ington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Grower assessments over the last 45 years have resulted in very signifi cant investments in research and extension. In 2013, for example, almost $4 million in funding was devoted toward addressing problems facing the tree fruit industry. In 2011 and 2013, tree fruit GOOD POINT Dr. Desmond Layne, Washington State University Extension is 100 years old… and counting With additional funding and new faculty, WSU extension is not resting on its laurels. Best in class. Only REGALIA ® will make you go back to the blackboard when choosing your best fungicide program. It offers the same top-notch disease control as old- school chemistry, but with all the benefi ts of a new-school biological solution. Soil or foliar – it all adds up to best-in-class for fruit, nuts and vegetables. See your retailer today. Go to for more. Always read and follow label directions. ©2014 Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. All rights reserved. Regalia, the Regalia logo, Marrone Bio Innovations, and the Marrone Bio Innovations logo are registered trademarks of Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. U.S. Patent No. 4,863,734 and 5,989,429. Additional patents pending. 03/14-22809 GFG WHAT IS extension? A ll universities engage in research and teaching, but land-grant universities have another mission: extension. It's so called because they extend their resources to solve public needs through nonformal or noncredit programs. The Morrill Act of 1862 established land-grant universities to educate citizens in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other practical pro- fessions. Extension was formalized in 1914 when the Smith-Lever Act established a partnership between the agricultural colleges and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provided federal funding annually to each state on a population-based formula to supple- ment state and county funding. Extension's main functions were to: • Develop practical applications of research knowl- edge • Give instruction and practical demonstrations of agricultural practices or technologies When Extension was established, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas and 30 percent of the workforce were engaged in farming. Today, fewer than 2 percent of Americans farm for a living and only 17 percent of the population live in rural areas. Extension increasingly addresses urban and suburban issues, as well as rural issues. It now works in six major areas: 4-H youth development; agri- culture; leadership development; natural resources; family and consumer sciences; and community and economic development. Programs are largely administered through county and regional extension offi ces. Although the number of local offi ces has declined over the years, there are still about 2,900 nationwide. —G. Warner SOURCE: USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture PLAY scan to watch WSU Mt. Vernon Northwestern WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center WSU Long Beach Research and Extension Unit

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - April 1