Event to celebrate 100 years of extension service

Adam Robison | Buy at photos.djournal.com Karen Balint, left, Lee County Extension office assistant, and Sherry Smith, extension agent, prepare for Tuesday's Centennial Celebration at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona.

Adam Robison | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Karen Balint, left, Lee County Extension office assistant, and Sherry Smith, extension agent, prepare for Tuesday’s Centennial Celebration at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona.

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

VERONA – The past and present will be the focus of Lee County Extension Service’s Centennial Celebration.

The event will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona. It’s in honor of the 100th anniversary of the federal Smith-Level Act, which created the extension service.

“We want to make it a carnival experience,” said Sherry Smith, Lee County Extension agent and county coordinator.

Like the county fairs of old, 4-Hers will display the work they’ve done throughout the year. It’ll include traditional crafts like needlework, jewelry-making and painting, as well as a robotics demonstration.

“We want to give people a glimpse of the work people are doing today,” Smith said.

A look into the past will come from Harry Martin. The former president of the Community Development Foundation came to Tupelo in 1948 to be the boy’s 4-H Club president.

“He and other former agents will share their tales,” Smith said. “We’ll get some very funny stories.”

The Crosstown Dulcimer Guild and 4-H fiddlers will perform, and there will be line dancing with the Hobo Hi-Steppers.

Most of the events will take place at the Agri-Center’s Magnolia Building, but there will be a variety of livestock at the barn. The curious will get a chance to see what it’s like to milk a cow.

“Master Gardeners will be on hand with planting displays for the kids,” Smith said. “They have a special project planned.”

Hot-dogs and chips will be for sale, and the drinks and cupcakes will be free.

In addition, the extension service’s scrapbooks will be pulled out of storage and put on display.

“Some older 4-Hers might find themselves in the pictures and relive some of their old memories of 4-H,” Smith said.

Everyone’s invited to Tuesday’s event to learn about the role the extension service has played in people’s lives in Lee County.

“Our whole thing is to try to connect yesterday and today in a fun, celebratory way,” Smith said. “It’ll be a chance to remember and to see what’s new.”

scott.morris@journalinc.com