MSU Extension celebrates 100 years

May 25, 2017

Officials gather around prior to cutting a special cake in honor of the 100th MSU Extension anniversary. Left to Right: Teagan Lefere, Housing and Financial Instructor, Marybeth Denton, Master Gardner Coordinator; Michelle Neff, Extension Educator; Donna Thompson, Office assistant; Shari Spoelman, MSU Extension District Coordinator, Carolyn Bay, Past MSU  Extension agent and supporter, Alex Schunk, 4-H Program Coordinator. Photo by Steve Landon

Officials gather around prior to cutting a special cake in honor of the 100th MSU Extension anniversary. Left to Right: Teagan Lefere, Housing and Financial Instructor, Marybeth Denton, Master Gardner Coordinator; Michelle Neff, Extension Educator; Donna Thompson, Office assistant; Shari Spoelman, MSU Extension District Coordinator, Carolyn Bay, Past MSU
Extension agent and supporter, Alex Schunk, 4-H Program Coordinator. Photo by Steve Landon

By Jenn Bomorra
Correspondent

The Michigan State University or (MSU EXTENSION) has become an important and permanent staple in our community and communities abroad.

On Tuesday, May 23rd, in Harrison Michigan at the Clare County Court House lobby, a celebration was held for the achievement of 100 years of service for Clare County.

Back in 1917, Clare County received a cooperative extension temporary agent that started the 100 year presence in the community.

Paul Gibson was the Clare County Agricultural Agent and started the 4H based program. Paul began working in Clare County in 1928. Originally from Vermont, he moved to Michigan and graduated from MSU in 1922. He moved to Harrison and worked with the MSU extension for 30 years until he retired in 1957. Paul passed away in 1978.

A display of pictures and memorabelia about the history of MSU in Clare County. Photo by Steve Landon

A display of pictures and memorabelia about the history of MSU in Clare County.
Photo by Steve Landon

His family still lives in Harrison today. “My dad used to run the farm off County Farm Rd., he would bring in those who had no place to go or live and house them there. They would then work the farm in turn for a place to live. He would bring in homeless or whoever needed shelter and taught them how the farm worked”, said John Gibson, Paul Gibson’s son.

One annual report from Paul Gibson’s records in 1940 showed that tractor and farm machinery had increased, electric had reached approximately 42% of farmers, hybrid corn trials were very satisfactory, corn borer infestation was severe, trend to replace barley and oat acres with corn, alfalfa and legume program was satisfactory, that soil testing was underway, and the reforestation program had been met with eager response.

Michelle Neff Extension Educator  for MSU Extension and John Gibson, son of Paul Gibson who worked at MSU Extension Clare County for 30 years and started the 4H program for the county. Photo by Jenn Bomorra

Michelle Neff Extension Educator  for MSU Extension and John Gibson, son of Paul Gibson who worked at MSU Extension Clare County for 30 years and started the 4H program for the county.
Photo by Jenn Bomorra

“There’s 4 institutes to the MSU Extension, (Children 4-H) Health and Nutrition, Agriculture and Agriculture Business, and Financial and Homeownership” said Teagen Lefere, Program Instructor and Financial and Homeownership counselor for MSU Extension.

The (MSUE ) does many great things for, and in the community. Some events and programs offered are Retirement Planning, 4-H Babysitting, Wheat field Day, Green House and Horticultural Lighting, and many more. They even offer a hotline for home gardening questions.

Since the SMITH-LEVER ACT in 1914, the MSU EXTENSION has been able to provide a network of educators who are able to extend knowledge and university based research to the people in the community.

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