First County Agricultural Extension Program in United States Recognized.

Established in 1910 by the US Dept. of Agriculture in Bedford County, it was the first agency of its kind in the nation. The County Agent provided practical advice on farming and gardening as well as consumer economics and nutrition to rural residents. The Cooperative Extension program improved food production across the state and nation, and is still in existence today.

Active and retired Pennsylvania Agricultural Educators, Penn State administration, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture officials gather around Pennsylvania historical marker at Farm Show dedication.

Active and retired Pennsylvania Agricultural Educators, Penn State administration, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture officials gather around Pennsylvania historical marker at Farm Show dedication.

The nation’s first county agricultural extension program was recognized with a historical marker dedication on Thursday, January 12th at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.   Participants in the picture to the right are back row (left to right) Stan McKee, Mena Hautau, Jim Welshans (retired), Tom McCarty, Chester Hughes, John Rowehl, Gene Schurman (retired), Carol Schurman (standing in front of husband),  Bruce McPheron (Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences), Duane Duncan, Dennis Calvin (Associate Dean and Director of Penn State Extension), and George Greig (Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture).  Kneeling from left to right, Bob Pollock, Paul Craig, Craig Williams, Amber Yutzy, Andrew Frankenfield, Greg Strait, and Melanie Barkley.

The marker will be placed in the location of the first extension agent,  A. B. Ross in Schellsburg, Bedford County.