Franklin Journal reports on UMaine Extension’s 100th anniversary in Franklin County

The Franklin Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County is celebrating 100 years of service to local people through outreach, education and research. When Franklin County Extension was established in 1919, the focus was achieved through 4-H clubs, home economics groups and agricultural services. Over the last 100 years, the programs have changed, but the focus remains the same, according to the article. “Youth development is still a big part of what we do,” said David Fuller, agriculture and nontimber forest products professional with UMaine Extension. “Before 4-H, there were corn clubs for boys and tomato clubs for girls. The clubs became popular during World War I as part of the war effort to teach about producing and preserving food.” There are currently about 110 children enrolled in one of 12 county 4-H clubs or working independently, said Tara Marble, 4-H youth development professional. “Most people think you have to have animals to be in 4-H,” Marble said. “There is a club for whatever interest a kid has.” Those interests include robotics, music and STEM, and all clubs work on core lessons such as citizenship and public speaking, Marble said.