Almost 200 people from across Alabama helped celebrate 100 years of Alabama Cooperative Extension home economics April 19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Montgomery. The luncheon celebration honored former agents and specialists for their dedication and hard work through the decades and also praised agents for their innovative programs offered today.
Proclamations from Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Spencer Baccus and Jo Bonner in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Montgomery County Commission were read honoring the service of Extension home economists.
Extension director Gaines Smith delivered greetings from Extension and Auburn University, and former Extension director Ann Thompson and former state leader, Martha Johnson thanked retired staff for their steadfast work through the years. Letters of appreciation also were read from former Extension director Michael Sprott and former state leader Dorothy Tate.
Extension's home economics programs began in 1911 with the girls' tomato clubs. Part-time female agents from Pike and Walker counties enrolled 240 girls.
Today, home demonstration agents, now called family and consumer sciences regional agents, continue to expand the Extension mission to meet the needs of Alabamians.
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