Amy G. Hadachek | Cuba, Kan.

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March 31, 2014
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Celebrations of all shapes and sizes across the Cornhusker State honoring 100 years of UNL Extension

The state of Nebraska sure knows how to throw a party, and in honor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension turning 100 years old, this centennial anniversary is being celebrated throughout the year and across the state.

The history of the UNL Extension evolved with the Smith-Lever Act, just before World War I. The most notable goal and accomplishment of this act was assisting American farmers increase food production and conservation during the war.

Today, the core values of UNL Extension are all about what people value in their daily lives, according to Extension officials; assistance in propelling the agriculture industry, helping individuals and families face challenges; encouraging youth to become strong leaders; strengthening communities and building relationships.

To honor 100 years of this impact, celebrations are taking place in Nebraska right where the Extension offices strive to make a difference — in their local communities.

Among many others, in July, during both the Thayer County and Nuckolls County fairs, there will be special 100th Anniversary commemorative events to honor the UNL Extension Service.

The Southern Plains Extension Board, which oversees Thayer and Nuckolls County Extension offices, voted this week that they will have a celebration for the centennial event.

“The Nuckolls County Fair will begin with the 4-H Horse Show on Saturday, July 5, through Wednesday, July 9, and the centennial event will be held during 4-H Night on the 9th,” noted Phyllis Schoenholz, Extension educator with UNL’s Thayer County and Nuckolls County offices, based in Hebron. “The Thayer County Fair Centennial Celebration will be held during the 2014 Public Style Revue and Performing Arts Contest on Thursday, July 31. The Thayer County Fair is from Aug. 7 through Aug. 10.”

A feature of UNL’s 100th Anniversary at both the Thayer and Nuckolls County fairs, and other fairs across Nebraska, will be servings of the centennial ice cream,” which is being unveiled as a 100th commemorative dessert.

“The title of the ice cream is ‘Extension Centennial: Nebraska Style,’” Schoenholz told The Fence Post.

Here are the delicious details: the ice cream is vanilla-based with strawberry swirl (scarlet and cream ice cream) with the addition of large chocolate chunks. This centennial ice cream is made at the UNL Dairy Store.

UNL Extension offices in all Nebraska counties are encouraged to hold a centennial event, and it’s expected there will be 100 different centennial celebration events this year across the state of Nebraska, Schoenholz says.

As counties hold these celebrations, they are encouraged to add pictures to the Centennial Facebook page,

The entire 100th anniversary year kicked off Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards Annual Conference, held at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.

Also in February, the 29th Annual Women in Agriculture Conference — the longest-running women’s conference of its kind in the country ­— celebrated 100 years of Extension, Feb. 20-21, at the Kearney Holiday Inn. Chuck Hibberd, UNL Extension dean, was one of the featured lunchtime speakers, presenting “100 Years of Extension!”

The statewide centennial celebration will be held over the Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, Aug. 30, where there will be numerous 4-H events held at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

In addition to the Centennial Facebook page, Schoenholz encourages Nebraskans to check out a short YouTube video about UNL Extension at

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The Fence Post Updated Apr 5, 2014 12:31PM Published Apr 2, 2014 11:18AM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.