Extension & Community Association Celebrates Centennial With Commemorative Bricks

— Written By

Two-thousand thirteen is a significant year for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and for North Carolina families. This is the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Extension and Community Association.

The North Carolina Extension & Community Association (NCECA) is a rich organization with a magnificent record of accomplishments for the people of North Carolina. As an outgrowth of the Home Demonstration Clubs established in the early 1900’s in partnership with the Cooperative Extension Service of North Carolina State University and North Carolina A & T University, the NCECA has led to the development of strong communities throughout North Carolina.

Formerly referred to as Extension Homemakers, ECA members have been the impetus for successfully implementing Family & Consumer Sciences educational programs throughout North Carolina. In 1911 Jane McKimmon, the first state Home Demonstration Agent, began to organize community “tomato” clubs as a way to educate rural women about food preservation and safety. Eventually the tomato clubs evolved into community Home Demonstration Clubs. Through this club system, Extension Homemakers, both past and present, have enabled the Cooperative Extension Service to carry out its mission throughout the twentieth century, into the twenty-first. Extension Homemakers empowered their communities through Extension education and subsequently improved the standard of living and literacy in their respective communities, promoted safe and healthful household and nutritional conditions and enabled families to send children to college by sponsoring income generating projects and markets. They graciously modeled social acceptance as social norms changed to a more divergent integrated society and as urbanization swallowed many of their rural communities. ECA and its dedication to Extension remains relevant in today’s technology driven environment through their continual promotion of sustainable life-solutions, Extension-based and community specific education.

To commemorate the history and influence ECA members have had on NC communities, and honor ECA members and Extension agents — past and present – consider donating a brick for the courtyard of the Jane S. McKimmon Center for the 2013 centennial. The 4×8-inch bricks will bear the honoree’s name and will be dedicated during a special ceremony during the ECA centennial gala event Oct. 27, 2013 in Raleigh. The Jane S. McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University is significant to ECA, because previous Extension Homemakers who sought to memorialize Jane S. McKimmon, the first leader of North Carolina’s home demonstration extension programs, provided the original $100,000 to N.C. State as seed money for the on-campus continuing education center. The McKimmon Center for Extension & Continuing Education today continues the mission of education for all people, honoring the vision of the women in home demonstration who made it happen.

Through April 1, the commemorative bricks are available for $100, and the cost will increase after that. A brick in the garden is a lasting tribute to the work and dedication and the impact ECA and Extension Homemakers service has made on their families as well as in their communities and their county. You can honor or memorialize the ECA work of a loved one, past or present club, mentor, admired community member or Extension program leader with the purchase of a Jane S. McKimmon Center garden brick.

Your donation and purchase of a brick is 100% tax deductible. Net proceeds from this project will be split 50/50 to fund both the ECA and Family and Consumer Sciences Foundations. Funds from these foundations will be used for the on-going support of ECA and Family and Consumer Sciences Extension programming at county, district and state levels throughout North Carolina. Use the enclosed order form to place your brick order and to provide how you would like your commemorative dedication to read. For more information, visit go.ncsu.edu/eca_bricks.

Thank you for your generous support and centennial tribute to the gracious work of the North Carolina Extension and Community Association.