Extension and Community Association celebrates 100 years Oct. 27

Date posted: September 20, 2013

Women canning food outside(NCSU Libraries Rare and Unique Digital Collections)Home demonstration agents taught women in local clubs to can food at home (Hickory, circa 1920s)

North Carolina Cooperative Extension will hold a centennial gala Oct. 27 in Raleigh to celebrate 100 years of home demonstration programs in North Carolina, now know as Extension and Community Associations. Extension invites former Extension Homemaker Club members, current members of ECA and those involved with Extension’s family and consumer sciences program to attend this historic event at N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center.

ECA clubs continue to be active in communities today. Through the educational guidance and researched-based information provided by N.C. Cooperative Extension‘s family and consumer sciences agents and specialists based at N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities, ECA is a grassroots institution that has actively addressed the needs of families in their communities for 100 years.

The ECA centennial gala at N.C. State will begin on Oct. 27 – weather permitting – with an opportunity to see engraved bricks that have been placed in the Jane McKimmon Garden at McKimmon Center honoring the women of ECA, family and consumer sciences and their supporters. Also there will be exhibits to showcase the multifaceted work of ECA in the state and a time to reconnect with old and new friends.

The dinner, which begins at 5 p.m., will include a multimedia presentation on the history of ECA. In addition, 25 new members will be inducted into the Jane S. McKimmon Family and Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame.

The ECA State Conference in Raleigh will follow the gala on Oct. 28-29. For information on both of these events, visit fcs.ces.ncsu.edu/eca-3.

In 1911, Jane S. McKimmon, North Carolina’s first woman home demonstration Extension agent, convinced 14 county superintendents of education to employ home demonstration agents to support the girls’ tomato club program to teach girls to can tomatoes. By 1913, the girls’ mothers had learned to can so well, they began to ask for clubs where they might learn other skills for the home. Thus home demonstration clubs – later named Extension Homemakers and ECA today — were born in North Carolina.

For more information on ECA programs in your county, find your county extension center on the N.C. Cooperative Extension website: www.ces.ncsu.edu/counties.

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