Agricultural extension has a long heritage. The most familiar, formalized system of agricultural extension, at least to American audiences, is embodied by the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). This organization's formal beginning can be traced back to the Morrill Act of 1862 which established the land grant system of higher education in the United States. One of the purposes outlined in this legislation was "to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts ... to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes." These institutions of higher education were strengthened by the passage of the Hatch Act in 1887. This legislation provided for a system of federally funded agricultural research stations so as to provide the land-grant colleges with a strong research base. The final piece of this triumvirate of legislation in the evolution of agricultural extension in the United States was the Smith-Level Act of 1914. It established the system of government subsidized agricultural extension in association with the land-grant colleges. A stated purpose of the Act was to facilitate the diffusion of information generated at the land-grant colleges and federal research stations, "among the people of the United States."
farming systems, ag extension