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About Cooperative Extension

UNCE Timeline

Historic Photo

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's roots date back to 1862. Check out some highlights of Cooperative Extension's history throughout the years.

Senator Justin Morrill

He leaves school at age 14, later becoming a merchant and farmer


Morrill Land Grant Act provides federal funds for agrarian and technical education

Justin Morrill



University when it was first established in Elko

Land-grant college established in Elko


Campus moves to Reno
Morrill Hall is 1st building

Morrill Hall building in Reno.  1st building for UNR.



Historic photo: Old car used by extension agents.  Two people pictured next to it.

Smith-Lever Act - Federal legislation establishes Agricultural Extension Service as federal-state-county partnership. Mission: To diffuse useful and practical information in agriculture and home economics


Historic photo: Group of people sitting - sewing.

The new organization becomes part of the College of Agriculture in Nevada

Extension's 1st employee

Historic photo: Group of people sitting on old car that was used by extension.

Norma Davis begins homemaking and 4-H youth education.


Cover of an Agricultural Extension publication

Enrollment grows to 800 youth. Ag agents and home demonstrators work in Lyon, Washoe, Elko, Douglas and Clark Counties.



Historic photo: Group of people pictured.  Cow in the middle.

1st Ag Agent in the North - Joe Wilson serves in Central and Northern Nevada until 1946


Historic photo: Group of people in field in front of someone teaching.

1st Ag Agent in the South - Carl Vinson begins youth, horticulture and agriculture education


Historic photo: 4 kids leaning on fence.

Horticulture education for canning and health. Crop and livestock production expands. Sanitation improves in homes.


Historic photo: Group of people looking at an old piece of farm equipment.

Nevada Legislature adopts one-mil tax. Extension partners with Farm Bureau.



Historic photo: Girl standing in front of a tree.

Youth enrollment soars as Extension education enters public schools


Historic photo: Cecil Creel

Cecil Creel becomes Dean/Director. Serves from 1921 to 1952. Runs for U.S. Senate in 1942.

"The Extension Worker's Code," by T.J. Talbert, governs educators' behavior.


Cover of The Nevada Junior 4-H Club Baby Beef Book

Ag production expands cattle to 500,000. Sheep numbers reach 1,000,000.


Historic photo: Group of children sitting in front of building.

Nutrition education helps underweight children "grow"



Historic photo: Old car

Home demonstration agents step up efforts to improve nutrition in low-income families


Cover of old publcation - Sixty ways of using carrots

Home demonstration agents publish bulletins to help improve nutrition


Historic photo: Person in front of 'Spirit of St. Louis' airplane

District Agent Orpha Miller enhances nutrition in the South


Historic photo: Adult with 2 kids pictured with a cow.

4-H youth show and sell animals at California livestock shows


Permanent 4-H Camp

Tom Buckman

Tom Buckman, Extension Assistant Director, negotiates for 4-H Camp


Historic photo: Group of kids pictured at the Lake Tahoe 4-H Camp

Camps held annually at the 4-H Camp at Lake Tahoe


Education during WWII

Extension named official agency of education for farmers and homemakers


Historic photo: Group of 4-H Youth

4-H Clubs join in the war effort


Historic photo: Irrigation ditch

Agents establish irrigation and drainage districts


Historic photo: 4 Young women

Nutrition educators enhance victory gardens

"And, in time of war, the Extension Service has been found to be organized and equipped to give service to the nation in the production of food in the conviction that 'food will win the war and write the peace.'"
- 1942 by Thomas E. Buckman, Acting Director


Post-War Education

Historic photo: 4 People pictured with 4 cows

4-H and agriculture grow after World War II


Historic photo: Mark Menke

Elko agent Mark Menke conducts agriculture and horticulture programs for 37 years


Historic photo: Kirk Day

Agronomist Kirk Day serves in Humboldt County from 1947 to 1976


Historic photo: Irrigation ditch

Kirk Day upgrades irrigation systems



Historic photo: Woman pictured with cow

Extension consolidates with Experiment Station


Historic photo: Ed Jensen

Agronomist Ed Jensen begins testing alfalfa varieties


Historic photo: Ferrin Bunker

Ferrin Bunker serves as Las Vegas agent from 1958 to 1976



Historic photo:  A.Z. Joy

Ag agent A.Z. Joy tests pellet to protect sheep


Historic photo: Gail Munk

Educator Gail Munk serves Extension for three decades


Extension home economists utilize TV as an education delivery method


Historic photo: Linn Mills

Linn Mills begins horticulture education in the South

Directly or indirectly , the Cooperative Extension Service affects all citizens of Nevada. This is true whether you live in the urban, suburban or rural areas.
- From the 1966 Cooperative Extension Service Annual Report



Historic photo: Dick Post

Dick Post delivers horticulture education in the North


Historic photo: Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson joins the university as Extension horticulturist


Historic photo: Dale Bohmont

Dean/Director Dale Bohmont serves from 1963 to 1981. He encourages natural resources and community development programs.



Historic photo: Group of 5 people standing.

Wally Peterson tours Legislators to Extension program sites


Historic photo: Large group of youth at 4-H camp.

Youth attendance grows at 4-H Camp



Historic photo: Large group of youth at 4-H camp.

Western Region 4-H Leadership Conference


Historic photo: Large group of youth at 4-H camp.

Livestock specialist Ron Torell educates ranchers to produce a healthier product for consumers


Historic photo: Large group of youth at 4-H camp.

Bob Morris and Dale Devitt conduct education and research in Las Vegas


Historic photo: Large group of youth at 4-H camp.

Dean/Director Bernard Jones serves from 1982 to 1998



Historic photo: Teacher sitting with some students.

4-H Stayin' Alive protects youth in latchkey settings


Historic photo: Tom Harris

Tom Harris helps rural communities with diversification of their economies


Historic photo: Sally Kees Martin.

Sally Kees Martin has developed youth and family curricula for 30 years


Historic photo: 5 youth standing on top of rock sculpture.  Marilyn Smiith in front of it.

1st Project MAGIC group in Elko



Master Gardener program begins in Southern Nevada


UNR Campus - Manzanita Lake

Board of Regents recognizes Cooperative Extension as a separate college.

Cooperative Extension fulfills land-grant mission of outreach education.


Helicopter dropping water over home with wildfire burning in the background.

Living With Fire program is created. UNCE, Agricultural Experiment Station, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, 12 Nevada & California firefighting agencies cooperating.


Karen Hinton

Karen Hinton is appointed Dean/Director of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

21st Century

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

21st Century

Parent reading book to child.

Family Storyteller program created to increase young children's language skills in collaboration with parents. Has reached over 16,000 Nevada families (as of 2011). Has sold more than 235 curricula that has been used in 29 other states (as of 2011). Received Western Extension Directors' Award of Excellence in 2007. 2010 - Selected for National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Partnership Award.

21st Century

Close up of hay.

Jay Davison introduces Nevada farmers to Tef Crop Production. Requires less water than alfalfa and can be more profitable.

21st Century

Engaged Leadership program is developed and offers advanced training and skill building for Community Advisory Boards. 2006 - Partnership with the Nevada Rural Development Council to expand program to rural communities. .

21st Century

Rod Davis teaching two youth in bootstraps program.  Pictured somewhere in Nevada outdoors.

Bootstraps program helps high-risk youth return to school and/or gain meaningful work


School Gardens program begins in Southern Nevada. Offers children an alternative site for learning. Promotes healthy eating and activities.


Group of people pictured at ground breaking event in Clark County.

Cooperative Extension breaks ground on a new 43,000-square-foot Lifelong Learning Center in Clark County


Graph showing radon accounts for 21,000 deaths per year.  More than drunk driving, falls, drownings, seconhand smoke and house fires.

Nevada Radon Education program begins. Thousands of test kits distributed.

21st Century

NEMO Nevada (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) addresses the relationship between land-use and water resource protection

21st Century

Group of 6 kids holding fruits and vegetables.

All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active Fit addresses child obesity


Outside view of cabin at Lake Tahoe.

Girls Cabin at State 4-H Camp is LEED certified by U.S. Green Building Council


Master Gardener program in Southern Nevada celebrates 20 years.