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March has been designated as Extension Month throughout America. The Extension Service was established in 1914 through the Smith-Lever Act which required an Extension Service presence in each county. The goal of the Extension Service is to improve the lives of the people through education and research. The roots of the Extension Service were laid before the Smith-Lever Act. The Morrell Act established a system of land grant universities. The Hatch Act of the late 1800s created agricultural experiment stations at the land grant universities. The Smith-Lever Act created the mechanism by which research-based information would be disseminated from the Experiment Stations and Universities to the people throughout the State.
The Extension Service has played an important role throughout time. In the 1930s Home Demonstration Clubs taught farm women food canning practices to help get through the Great Depression. In the 1940s the Extension Service was one of the agencies that sold war bonds. The Extension also encouraged planting Victory Gardens to help increase the food supply during World War II. The Extension Service worked with Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in electrifying rural America.
In the 1950s Extension worked with World War II vets to teach modern agricultural practices. In the 1980s counties implemented a variety of research trials.
The Carroll County Extension Service is administered through the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Programs are conducted in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Rural Community Development, 4-H, and Family and Consumer Science.