Author Archives: jeff.ripley

Innovative Programs

Innovative Programs The Hallmark of Extension Education Written by: J.C. Johnson C. M. Ferguson, in the fall 1964 edition of the Journal of Extension wrote: “Extension’s history has been one of innovation – in methods, in subject matter, in audience. Its birth was an innovation. Its early growth was nourished by innovation. Its success was measured by the innovations it succeeded in getting adopted. What a tragedy it would be if… it was to become the victim of paralysis of the status quo!” Fortunately, Dr. Ferguson needed not… Read More →

Grand Challenges

Grand Challenges Looking Forward at the Opportunities Ahead Edited by: Kevin Andrews Quotes from: Southwest Farm Press Text from: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences This month, 14 in ’14 has looked back on a hundred years of Cooperative Extension. In the third and final article of May, we will celebrate our centennial by looking forward to what lies ahead. The challenges faced by our nation in 1862 when the Morill Act was signed into law, or in 1914 when the Smith-Lever act was passed look much different… Read More →

Agency Directors

A Legacy of Leadership Looking Back at the Directors of Texas Extension By: Jon Perrott Seaman Knapp, often referred to as the father of Extension, said: “What a man hears, he may doubt; what he sees, he may possibly doubt; but what he does himself, he cannot doubt.” Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, in keeping with Knapp’s vision, is dedicated to removing doubt from the people of Texas through research-based education. Throughout its proud history, AgriLife Extension has seen many changes and faced many challenges. Whether dealing with… Read More →

Smith-Lever Centennial

Smith-Lever Centennial Looking Back at the History of Texas Extension By: Kevin Andrews On this day, one hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law an act brought forward by Senators Hoke Smith (D-GA) and Asbury Lever (D-SC) which has brought immeasurable benefit to the lives of people, businesses, and communities across the United States. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 provided for the creation of a national system of extension work which focused on bringing practical, research-based information about agriculture, home economics, energy, and many other topics… Read More →


Energy AgriLife Extension’s Response to the Energy Boom By: J.C. Johnson Over the past several years there has been a great shift in Texas. Not political power or in the summer heat, but the oil and gas boom. Eleven Texas counties are ranked among the top 50 fastest growing countries in the country. Because of this boom, the Texas population has grown rapidly and economic growth has increased exponentially. However, this growth is not without issues. With an expansion in population and economy comes a whole gamut of… Read More →

Better Living for Texans

Better Living for Texans Improving Lives Through Eating Well By: Jon Perrott Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is committed to helping people improve their lives through educational outreach. The Better Living for Texans program (BLT) is one of AgriLife Extension’s efforts to build communities and impact generations in a positive way through teaching on the topics of making healthy food choices within a limited budget, practicing food safety, and choosing active lifestyles consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Located in over 220 Texas counties, Better Living… Read More →

Urban and Rural Extension

Urban and Rural Extension Contrasting Environments, Identical Mission By: Sidney Hammond and Emily Perdue Texas is a land of contrasts, and the landscape shifts dramatically across the 268,820 square miles of our state. Several of America’s largest cities are found within our borders, their skyscrapers towering above the horizon. However, Texas is also home to many remote locations where livestock exponentially outnumbers humans. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension serves every county in the state, with a programmatic presence in urban and rural areas alike, just as it has done… Read More →

Leadership Programs

Leadership Programs Leading the Way in Texas for the Next 100 Years By: Tobin Redwine & Kevin Andrews Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is working to improve the lives of people, businesses, and communities across Texas and beyond through high-quality, relevant education. This mission requires dynamic leaders and visionary individuals. These programs seek to prepare those leaders, and equip those individuals; all as a part of the mission of Texas A&M AgriLife extension.   V.G. Young Institute The V.G. Young Institute of County Government works to meet the educational… Read More →