University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County will have an open house, 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 to celebrate 100 years of service and programs. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

FARMINGTON — University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County began in 1919. An open house 3–6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 will celebrate the 100th anniversary.

Dave Fuller, Agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products Professional for Extension in Franklin County said the celebration will be held at the Extension Office at 138 Pleasant Street and in the Meeting House Park nearby.

New Maine Extension Director Hannah Carter will be in attendance.

“We’re thrilled to have her on board, have her here,” Fuller said.

Fuller said Franklin County has kept very good records, unlike some offices. Members and names of Homemaker groups and 4-H clubs are available.

“Anyone can check to see who belonged to 4-H. Some of the 4-H clubs had interesting names,” Fuller said.

Staff and some of those from the Senior Companion program will be on hand to answer questions and share information.

“People with questions about whatever can get them answered. This is a celebration of Extension being here, but also recognition of what we do.

“We have a narrower focus now than in the past, but more in-depth than it was at one time,” Fuller said.

He said people looking for answers often find inaccurate information through online searches or they can’t find what they are looking for.

“The hallways in the office will be lined with educational displays. The Extension Homemakers are providing refreshments. There will be a raffle for the 4–H Scholarship Fund. It’s going to be a significant basket. It’s growing all the time,” he said.

In the park, 4–H clubs will have displays and some animals to view. 4-H member Bradley Smith will have a Dutch Belted calf, one of his dairy project animals. The Rabbiter’s 4–H Club will have an Angora rabbit.

Judy Smith, Community Education Assistant said there are about a dozen 4–H clubs currently. Members can belong to general clubs or more specific ones such s the Franklin County 4–H Club. Members can participate in a variety of projects regardless of the club they belong to. Some of the newer projects include robotics and shooting sports.

Trophies and other things saved from 100 years of 4–H will be on display.

“We’re trying to get each club to have an educational display, project or informational ideas,” she said.

Lani Carlson, Maine AgrAbility Project will have show and tell technology gadgets and gizmos on display.

“They address back health, ergonomics. I’ll have cooling vests and hats to show,” she said.

Extension Administrative Specialist Tiffany Wing holds one of the posters created by former Extension Agent Dick Day. They will be on display during the June 19 open house in Farmington. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Administrative Specialist Tiffany Wing said to look for highlights from the history of the Franklin County office. Poster boards created by former Extension Agent Dick Day will be on display.

Co-coordinators of the Homemakers’ Garden Angel Project, Sue Gill and Linda Gramlich will be on hand. This project provides raised beds and window boxes that allow senior citizens and handicapped individuals to continue gardening.

The Smith–Lever Act, passed in 1914 established a partnership between universities and the United States Department of Agriculture. Information derived from research was and is used to help improve agricultural practices and other aspects of life, both in rural and non–rural areas.

The Maine Legislature passed an act establishing county extension on March 12, 1919.

For more information call 207-778-4650.

filed under: