EXHIBITS

Partnership of the Extension Program and the College of Family Life: Beginnings

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John A. Widtsoe portrait
John A. Widtsoe portrait
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, John A. and Leah D. Widstoe Photograph Collection, 1901-1954 P0250 1:26).

“The Extension Division in the last four years has risen to be one of the most important divisions of the college and has made itself a power for good throughout the state.” [1]    

~John A. Widtsoe~

Men looking at the Farm Thrift Practice exhibit by the U.S.A.C Extension Service
Men looking at the Farm Thrift Practice exhibit by the U.S.A.C Extension Service
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, Utah Cooperative Extension Division Photograph Collection, 1920-1929 P0017 2:17).

The Utah State University’s Extension Program established both agricultural and home economic courses and resources throughout Utah in integral ways. Since its beginning, the Extension has had an invaluable partnership with the College of Family Life. Throughout its history, many of the College’s faculty both directed the Extension Program and contributed to its work by traveling throughout the state as agricultural and home economics instructors and agents.

Home Thrifts Practices Exhibit by the Utah State Agricultural College (U.S.A.C.) Extension Service
Home Thrifts Practices Exhibit by the Utah State Agricultural College (U.S.A.C.)
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, Utah Cooperative Extension Division Photograph Collection, 1920-1929 P0017 2:14).

While the Extension program was not officially established until the early 1900s, Utah State University, has been interested in doing “extension work” since its founding.[2] Lectures, demonstrations, and “institutes” were organized with the goal of assisting farmers by discussing farming techniques, problems and farming equipment. Though it took some time, farmers eventually saw the benefit of these institutes. The idea also grew to include cooking classes and demonstrations. By 1905, these were attended well enough that more sessions were added to the institutes at the suggestion of President John A. Widtsoe. [3]

[1] Kim M. Gruenwald Comp, & Edited, Our Living Legacy: Improving the Quality of Family Life, Logan, UT, College of Family Life, Utah State University, 1988, 42.
[2] Ibid, 41.
[3] Ibid, 41-42.