14-R295

2014 H 8161

Enacted 05/29/14

J O I N T R E S O L U T I O N

DECLARING MAY 8, 2014, AS "RHODE ISLAND COOPERATIVE EXTENSION DAY" IN CELEBRATION OF THE CENTENNIAL OF THE PASSAGE OF THE SMITH-LEVER ACT AND RHODE ISLAND'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICA'S LAND GRANT AND SEA UNIVERSITIES

Introduced By: Representatives Edwards, Lally, Dickinson, and Newberry

Date Introduced: May 08, 2014

 

WHEREAS, In April of 1904, President Kenyon Leech Butterfield of the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now known as the University of Rhode Island), with a $4,000 appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly, formally established the Extension Department at the college with a mission to share research findings with Rhode Island's families and citizens; and

WHEREAS, After a decade of experience in cooperative extension programming, Kenyon Butterfield went on to assist United States Senators M. Hoke Smith and A. Frank Lever in the formulation of legislation aimed at boosting the United States economy through dissemination of practical scientific research undertaken at all of our nation's Land Grant Universities; and

WHEREAS, The Smith-Lever Act was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law on May 8, 1914, by President Woodrow Wilson, establishing the Cooperative Extension Service at Land Grant Universities nationwide; and

WHEREAS, The Cooperative Extension Service has greatly contributed to the economic growth of America by allowing for unprecedented increases in farm productivity such that each farmer producing enough food to feed four people in 1914, now feeds over 70 people in 2014; and

WHEREAS, The Cooperative Extension Service in Rhode Island, over the last century, has diversified beyond working with farmers into varied programming for all Rhode Islanders including food and nutrition education programs, home economics programming, soil and water conservation education, 4-H youth programming, and home gardening outreach, among many other programs; and

WHEREAS, In 1966, with the cooperation of Dean John A. Knauss of the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, and Dr. Lewis M. Alexander of URI's Department of Geography and Marine Affairs, Senator Claiborne Pell introduced the Sea Grant College and Program Act, establishing Sea Grant Colleges throughout the nation with a Marine Extension Service that was closely modeled after the Smith-Lever Cooperative Extension programming; and

WHEREAS, The Marine Extension Service program promulgated by the Rhode Island Sea Grant since 1971, has been disseminating research results to boost our state's maritime economy and building livelihoods in many marine trades while maintaining good stewardship of the coastal and marine environments; and

WHEREAS, The Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Marine Extension program both remain a vital part of URI's continuing mission of research, education, and engagement with all Rhode Islanders; and

WHEREAS, The unique combination of leading research, instruction, and extension capabilities of America's Land Grant and Sea Grant Universities, including the University of Rhode Island, remains critical in resolving society's greatest challenges of economic and environmental sustainability today and into the future; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby recognizes the Centennial of the Smith-Lever Act and offers its congratulations for 110 years of formal Extension programming by the University of Rhode Island; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this General Assembly hereby designates May 8, 2014, which is the centennial anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, as "Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Day" in the State of Rhode Island; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley, Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Director John D. Kirby, and Rhode Island Sea Grant Director Dennis W. Nixon.

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LC005492
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