Leaders from West Virginia University will meet with other Cooperative Extension Service organizations this week in Washington, D.C., to discuss WVU Extension’s role in 21st century energy challenges. The discussion takes place on the eve of Extension’s 100th birthday.

The conference, entitled 21st Century Energy Challenges: The Power of Extension, takes place on May 7, and features speakers from nine Cooperative Extension Service organizations, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

WVU Extension Service Interim Director Steve Bonanno will partner with WVU Safety and Health Extension Director Mark Fullen to present on WVU’s award-winning workplace safety training programs. WVU Extension provided safety training to more than 1,500 oil and gas workers in 2013 alone.

“We’re excited to contribute to this national conversation and showcase some of the progressive work of WVU and WVU Extension,” WVU Chief of Staff Jay Cole said. “This is just one example of how WVU Extension continues to respond to emerging needs and develop relevant, creative programs to help our state and nation.”

Cooperative Extension Service programs have provided university-backed research to communities across the United States for the past 100 years and on Tuesday, May 8, leaders will gather for the Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation.

To help represent WVU at the event, Cole, Bonnano and Fullen will be joined by Associate Provost for Outreach and Engagement Gypsy Denzine, Extension Service Families and Health Director Cindy Fitch, Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources Director Jennifer Williams, WVU Director of External and Federal Relations Rick French and WVU Extension 4-H Youth Development program leader Debbie McDonald.

The group will share ideas for how the Extension Service mission works on a local level and celebrate the signing of the Smith-Lever Congressional Act, which was signed into law in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. The act’s primary purpose was to make University research more accessible to people in the states they serve.

WVU Extension Service was created by the act and continues to carry out the land-grant mission in all 55 counties in the state.

“It’s humbling to think about how our organization has endured, adjusted, improved and added value to the people and communities of West Virginia for the last 100 years,” Bonanno said. “This isn’t just a celebration of an organization but of the heritage and tradition of service in our state.”

The national efforts in D.C. will be complemented by state and local activities. For more information on WVU Extension Service programs in your community, visit http://ext.wvu.edu, or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.



CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service
304.293.8735, Cassie.Waugh@mail.wvu.edu

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