By Tamas Mondovics

UFoldScreen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.07.37 PMRepresentatives of the University of Florida, Hillsborough County government officials and representatives of Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension gathered to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Florida Extension earlier this month.

According to County Agriculture Industry Development Manager and County Extension Director Stephen Gran, the free event held at the Hillsborough County UF/IFAS Extension Office, located at 5339 C.R. 579 in Seffner, showcased exhibits, offered garden tours and recognized a number of volunteers of the Extension.

“This is a major milestone in the history of the Florida Extension, which provides educational services by both the University of Florida and Hillsborough County,” Gran said.

The Extension provides information to the public through workshops, publications and mass media, which allows the public to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of land-grant universities.

A brief research reveals that in 1914, Congress established the Extension Service in order to provide a means for disseminating and implementing research-based information from land-grant universities.

Gran emphasized that the transfer of knowledge from the university to people is provided by a hard-working extension faculty located in each of Florida’s 67 counties.

Commenting on the extension’s 100-year history accomplishments and future, Gran was pleased to say that other than the improvement of the information and delivery methods, the mission of extending and implementing research-based information to the people of Florida has not changed.

“From making healthier food choices, helping farmers to use the land more efficiently, saving money and growing better crops to conserving water and energy, Floridians  continue to learn from the Florida Extension,” Gran said.

Hillsborough County has approximately 30 established 4-H clubs that typically meet once or twice per month focusing on specific project areas such as dog training, swine, dairy, shooting sports or leadership to name few.

Adding to the year-long UF/IFAS Extension centennial celebration’s festivities is the annual Recycled Yard Art Contest, sponsored by Hillsborough County Fair and held this month at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds. For contest rules, entry forms and additional information, call 744-5519 ext. 54146, or e-mail meredithL@hillsboroughcoun ty.org. For more information about programs offered at the Extenstion, visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Extension.