What is UT Extension?

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By Rebecca Seratt
Extension Agent

You know that we write a weekly article for the newspaper. You probably know that we have an office on Crook Avenue. You might even know that our agents help farmers, families, and youth in different ways. But do you really know what UT Extension is or what we do, or more importantly, how we can help you with your everyday problems? You’re about to find out!
Let’s start at the beginning……all the way back to 1862. Imagine a time where the United States is in the midst of fighting a civil war, a man named Abraham Lincoln is President, and in the south, Cotton is King. In fact, 1862 was a pretty remarkable year for agriculture as a whole in our nation. That year saw the development of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Act was passed.
If you paid attention in your U.S. History class then you probably can recall the importance of the Morrill Act. If not, here’s what you need to know: The Morrill Act of 1862, in short, required that federal lands be sold in order to establish public institutions that had an agriculturally-based focus. Tennessee is proud of two well established land grant universities within our state: The University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University.
Today, the mission of UT Extension is to provide a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. It is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state and local governments, that brings research-based information about agriculture, youth, families and communities to the people of Tennessee where they live and work. Extension’s mission is to help citizens improve their lives and solve problems. We strive every day to do just that for the residents of Chester County.
Every year, we celebrate the month of March as Extension Month. Check out our Facebook page—UT Extension-Chester County—for photos of events and upcoming program information, or give us a call at 989-2103 for more information about how we can help you with Real. Life. Solutions.