Federal Legislation
Impacting Agricultural
Education and Extension:
1950 - on
(Thanks to Gary Moore, NCSU)
Post Sputnik Legislation
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
Legislation affecting Ext. and Ag. Ed.
After the 1950s was more complex and
convoluted than earlier legislation.
We will discuss only the parts of the
acts impacting AgEd or Ext., even
though the act may have numerous
other components.
National Defense
Education Act (1958)

This act was passed because of Sputnik

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“The Congress finds that an educational
emergency exists and requires action
by the federal government. Assistance
will come from Washington to help
develop as rapidly as possible those skills essential
to the national defense.”
A major purpose of the act was strengthen
the teaching of mathematics, sciences and
modern foreign languages
National Defense
Education Act (1958)

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Established a student loan
program for college
The George-Barden Act of
1946 was amended
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Area Vocational Schools were to be built to
train “technicians” skilled in math and
science
$15 million dollars for the next five
years was authorized for this purpose
Vocational Education
Act of 1963
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This was a MAJOR piece of federal legislation.
It replaced the Smith-Hughes Act.
Categorical funding for specific vocational
disciplines such as agricultural education was
abolished.

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Funding went to states on the basis of their
population in certain age categories
States decided how to spend the money
Vocational Education
Act of 1963

Expanded the scope of agricultural education
to include all areas of agriculture, not just
farming.
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No longer required “supervised practice on a
farm”. The idea was to expand the scope of SAE,
not do away with it, but that is what some states
did.
Expanded the scope of home economics
education to include all areas of home
economics, not just homemaking.
Vocational Education
Act of 1963
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Established work study programs for
vocational students to provide financial
support
States had to submit plans for what they
planned to do
Eliminated federal supervision/control of
vocational programs
Funding for vocational education was
substantially increased
Sea Grant Program (1966)

The National Sea Grant College
and Program Act

Established a program (under the Dept. of
Commerce) to provide for applied research,
formal education and extension for
development of marine and Great Lake
resources. About 2/3 of the states involved
have incorporated these activities in the
extension service.
Educational Amendments
(1968)

Amended the 1963 Vocational Education Act
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Increased funding for vocational education
Funds could be used for high school programs,
people who have left school, retraining, special
needs students, construction of area vocational
schools, vocational guidance, contracting
vocational education with private institutions,
ancillary services (research, teacher training) and
administering the state plan.
Educational Amendments
(1968)

Did not categorically fund specific vocational
programs, with one exception
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Specifically allocated money to Consumer and
Homemaking Education
Of the general appropriations to each state

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25% had to be spent on disadvantaged populations
25% had to be spent on out-of-school
individuals seeking employment
10% had to be spent on handicapped
individuals
Educational Amendments
(1968)

Authorized money for:
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Curriculum development (this is the only place
agricultural education is mentioned in the act)
Residential vocational schools (schools with
dorms)
Research (National Center for Vocational
Education Research was established)
Leadership development (selected vocational
leaders could get advanced degrees)
Rural Development Act (1972)
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Title V impacted Extension
Authorized rural development
and small-farm extension
programs
Administration of programs to be part of
Extension
Established State Rural Development
Advisory Councils
Educational Amendments
(1976)
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The Educational Amendments of 1976 have
five Titles, Title II is concerned with
vocational education
Authorized more money for vocational
education
Purpose of the act was to
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extend, improve and maintain programs
overcome come sex discrimination/bias
develop new programs
Educational Amendments
(1976)
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Monies could be spent on vocational
education programs, work study, energy
education, area school facilities, support sex
equity positions, placement services,
Industrial Arts (now Technology Education),
support services for females in non-traditional
programs, day care
services, displaced homemakers,
residential vocational centers.
Educational Amendments
(1976)
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There were special appropriations for
the disadvantaged
Consumer and Homemaking received
special funding
Every vocational program had to be
evaluated every five years
Food and Agriculture Act
(1977)
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A Major Farm Bill
Authorized $260 million for Extension
Authorized agricultural and forestry
extension activities at 1890 institutions
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4% of Smith-Lever Funds
must go to 1890 institutions
Extension leaders of 1862
and 1890 institutions are to
develop a comprehensive
state-wide plan for extension
Food and Agriculture Act
(1977)
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Added the use of solar energy
with respect to agriculture and
solar energy demonstration projects
Established a national food and human
nutrition research and education
program
Required the secretary of agriculture to
evaluate the Extension Service by 1979
Food and Agriculture Act
(1977)
Directed the secretary to
assist the Agency for
International Development
(AID) with agricultural
research and extension
in developing countries
Established a National Agricultural Research
and Extension Users Advisory Board
Tu n is
A lg ie rs

T U N IS IA
C o n s ta n t in e
O ra n
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A le x a n d r i a
C a ir o
A L G E R IA
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L IB Y A
EGYPT
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Luanda
D a r e s S a la a m
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H a ra re
M O Z A M B IQ U E
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BOTSW ANA
To lia r a
S O U T H A F R IC A
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LESOTHO
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In d ia n
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A F R IC A
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P o r t E li z a b e th
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
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L i b r e v i lle
Renewable Resources
Extension Act (1978)

Provided for educational programs
concentrating on renewable resources, which
includes fish and wildlife management, range
management, timber management, and
watershed management, as well as forest and
rangebased outdoor recreation,
trees and forests in urban
areas, and trees and shrubs
in shelter belts.
Smith-Lever Amendment
(1980)
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Inserted references to rural energy in
Section 2.
Agriculture and Food Act
(1981)
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A Major Farm Bill
Authorized appropriations for Extension
programs (including 1890 programs)
Provided for the employment and
training of professionals and
paraprofessional aides to engage
in nutrition education of low-income
families.
Agriculture and Food Act
(1981)
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Authorized aquaculture extension
work
Authorized rural development
programs and small farm
extension programs
Authorized the secretary of agriculture to
conduct an annual evaluation of agricultural
research, extension and teaching programs.
Carl Perkins Act (1984)

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This was the most significant rewrite of
vocational education legislation since
1963.
Two broad themes
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Accessibility to all persons
Improve the quality
Carl Perkins Act (1984)

Fifty-seven (57) percent of state funds were
allocated to special populations - vocational
education was to be accessible to everyone
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handicapped (10%)
disadvantaged (10%)
adult retraining (12%)
single parents & homemakers (8 1/2%)
sex bias & stereotyping (3 1/2%)
incarcerated (1%)
Carl Perkins Act (1984)

Forty-three (43) percent of state funds were
allocated for program improvement
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funds were not to be used to maintain existing
programs
Consumer and Homemaking received special
funding but 1/3 had to be spent in
economically depressed areas
There will be a full time sex equity
coordinator and $60,000 is allocated to that
Food Security Act (1985)
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A major farm bill
Provided grants to upgrade 1890
institutions’ extension facilities
Made several technical amendments to
fine tune past farm bills
Smith-Lever Amendment
(1985)
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Added language that the Extension Service
give “…instruction and practical
demonstrations of existing or improved
practices or technologies.”
Authorized Extension to enter into agreements
with private organizations and individuals. (in
other words extension could accept money
from the private sector)
Improve 1890s extension facilities
Food, Agriculture, Conservation
and Trade Act (1990)
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
A major farm bill
Directed the Extension Service to
catalogue the federal, state, and
local laws and regulations that
govern the handling of unused
or unwanted agricultural chemicals and
agricultural chemical containers.
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Educational materials regarding this were to be
developed.
Food, Agriculture, Conservation
and Trade Act (1990)
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Charged the Extension Service with
teaching composting
Expanded natural resources educational
programs
Established a water quality coordination
program
Provided for the assistance for the
control of weeds and pests
Food, Agriculture, Conservation
and Trade Act (1990)
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Expanded EFNEP
Established five regional
aquaculture centers for
research and Extension activities
Repealed previous solar energy
provisions
National Forest Dependent
Rural Communities Economic
Diversification Act (1990)
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Directed the Extension Service to provide
training and educational programs in rural
communities that are
economically dependent upon
forest resources in an attempt to
diversify the economic base of
the community.
Perkins II (1990)
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The Carl Perkins Act is rewritten
Special populations is still a major focus,
Money can be used to support existing
programs
Academic and vocational
education was to be integrated
Articulation between secondary and postsecondary institutions
National Agricultural Research,
Extension and Teaching Act
(1994)
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Established extension education
programs on Native American
reservations
Provided technical assistance and
training in subsistence agriculture to
Native Americans and Alaskan natives
National Agricultural Research,
Extension and Teaching Act
(1994)
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Provided grants for on-farm education
and assistance directed at
accommodating disability in farm
operations.
The Department of Agriculture
Reorganization Act (1994)
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Reorganized USDA
Established the Cooperative State Research,
Education, and Extension Service to
coordinate efforts between USDA and the
states
School-to-Work
Opportunities Act (1994)
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A variety of programs were established
for students to get them more involved
with the world of work and postsecondary education
Grants were given to some states to
develop programs
This is for all students
Funding is temporary
FAIR Act (1996)

Our current farm bill is titled the Federal
Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act.
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Title VIII contains provisions for Research,
Extension, and Education
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Some people call it the Freedom to Farm Act.
However, because other sections of the bill were so
controversial little attention was paid to this section of
the bill. Most extension related items were merely
extended. However, there were a few new twists.
It contains provisions for extension, but for
the first time has language for secondary
agricultural education.
FAIR Act (1996)

Authority for secondary and 2-year post
secondary education in agriscience and
agribusiness are added to the Secretary's
food and agricultural education authorities

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This was an attempt to transfer national
leadership for secondary agricultural education to
USDA from USDE
It partially succeeded, language is present in the
bill authorizing it--but there is no money to do it,
so nothing has happened
FAIR Act (1996)

Even though the national leadership for
agricultural education did not move (one
representative in the house effectively
blocked the move) a $500,000 challenge
grant program to improve secondary
agricultural education has been established
under authority of the USDA.

USDE provides national leadership for agricultural
education but USDA is providing funds to improve
the program
FAIR Act (1996)

A National Research, Education, and
Economics Advisory Board is
established. (This 30-member advisory
board replaces three separate advisory
committees)
FAIR Act (1996)

There were provisions in the act related to:

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Native American extension programs
1890 extension programs
Appropriations for the Extension Service
Other provisions of the Act contain language
reducing price supports for many agricultural
commodities
The Fund for Rural America was created to
enhance community development
Perkins III (1996)

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This is the legislation vocational education is
currently operating under
The purpose of this Act is to develop more
fully the academic, vocational, and technical
skills of secondary students and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in
vocational and technical education programs
(little emphasis on
special populations)
Perkins
Perkins III (1996)
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At the local levels funds can be spent on:
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strengthening the academic, and vocational and
technical skills of students
providing students with strong experience in
and understanding of all aspects of an industry
developing, improving, or expanding the use of
technology in vocational and technical
education
providing professional development programs
to teachers, counselors, and administrators
Perkins III (1996)
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conducting evaluations of the vocational and
technical education programs ...including how
the needs of special populations are being met
initiating, improving, expanding, and
modernizing quality vocational and technical
education programs
linking secondary vocational and technical
education and post-secondary vocational and
technical education, including implementing
tech-prep programs.
Legislative Mandates
for Extension
Various minor amendments and laws have mandated that Extension
work in the following areas:
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Nutrition and family
education
Urban gardening
Pest management
Farm safety and rural
health
Rural development
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Pesticide impact
assessment
Groundwater quality
Financially stressed
and/or dislocated
farmers
Food safety
Legislative Mandates
for Extension
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Agricultural
telecommunications
youth-at-risk
Renewable resources
Subsistence farming on
Native American
reservations
Establish and operate
centers of rural
technology
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Outreach and
assistance for socially
disadvantaged farmers
Rural health and safety
education
Nutrition education and
consumer education
1890 extension work
Legislative Mandates
for Extension

Natural-resourcebased economic
development
Conclusion



Legislation for extension and agricultural
education during the past 50 years has been
influenced greatly by changing societal and
environmental concerns.
Federal legislation has often mandated what
we are to do.
The focus has shifted to helping certain
groups of people.
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Federal Legislation - University of Arkansas