One hundred years ago, in 1918, the Benton County Farm Bureau and Iowa State College, now Iowa State University collaborated together to bring the Extension Service to Benton County. The first County Agent, W.O. Brant was hired to help local farmers address challenges they faced. An adequate supply of seed corn was the first major issue addressed. Through the years Extension evolved and changed as it addressed current challenges not only for farmers, but also citizens, communities, and industries.
To highlight the history of Extension in Benton County, a book has been compiled highlighting the rich history over the past 100 years. The book, organized by decades and includes many photos- black & white and color.
The book will soon be going to press and preorders are being taken. Cost will be $15 and be available for pick up at the Extension Booth at Benton County Fair in June or at the Extension Office after fair. Books can also be mailed for $20 to include shipping and handling fees. All proceeds go to support the printing of the book and to support Extension Education programs. Books can be ordered by stopping by the Benton County Extension Service Office at 501 1st Avenue in Vinton, or requesting a form to place an order at Phone: 319-472-4739.
A committee of Nancy Jensen, Luzerne, Judi Hertle, Vinton, and Linda Fischer, retired County and Regional Director with ISU Extension have researched 100 years of Annual Reports, 4-H history books, and newspapers articles. It has taken months for the committee to review and compile the information into approximately 100 page book.
According to Fischer, there are many books with history, some of which were damaged years ago in a fire and some sustained water damage in the windstorm in 2011. This summary will be shared and preserved for the next 100 years.
More celebration of 100 years will be held at the Benton County Fair in June.