From the Dean
For 100 years, University of Minnesota Extension has extended the University into every corner of the state, connecting the University to the people, taking University research from the labs into people's lives, making Minnesota a better place to live, work and play.
The challenges facing Minnesota in 1909 were not unlike the challenges facing Minnesota today—demographic shifts, technology growth, economic concerns. Today, the need for the state's land-grant University to extend its research and resources to address the issues facing the state is as strong as ever.
This special Centennial issue of Source features several examples of ways Extension faculty have extended the University into every corner of the state, addressing the most pressing issues of the day.
- In the 1930s, Extension faculty helped farmers address the grasshopper plague, avoiding $12.6 million in crop losses. Today, thanks to modern communication and partnerships between producers and the University, early warning signs provide a chance to research potential threats before they strike.
- Getting kids to eat healthy is not just a 21st century problem. For nearly 100 years, Extension has been educating teachers and other school staff about how to prepare and promote nutritious school lunches that kids will eat. n The 4-H youth of today are protecting many of the natural resources nurtured by the early 4-H conservation leadership camp members in the 1920s and '30s. While water conservation and recycling consume much of the "green" 4-H efforts, today's youth are still planting trees, cleaning ponds and preparing hiking trails as part of their community service.
For more stories about Extension's impact on Minnesota over the last century, visit our Extension Centennial website. On the site you will find historical facts and figures, a quiz to test your Extension knowledge, videos, stories and photos, as well as an opportunity to add your Extension photos and stories to the archives.
Beverly R. Durgan
Dean, University of Minnesota Extension