Smith-Lever Act

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SMITH-LEVER ACT. The Smith-Lever Act (1914) provided for an elaborate system of agricultural extension work conducted through a field force of specialists with the assistance of federal grants-in-aid based on equal state contributions. Students not attending college received instructions and demonstration work in agriculture and home economics from county agents, thus enjoying indirectly the benefits of the agricultural colleges and experimental stations. Like other forms of grants-inaid, the Smith-Lever Act provided for an element of federal control of local activities. This was the first time that federal standards were a factor in aid to education.


Kett, Joseph F. The Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties: From Self-improvement to Adult Education in America, 1750–1990. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994.

Scott, Roy Vernon. The Reluctant Farmer: The Rise of Agricultural Extension to 1914. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

HarveyWish/a. r.

See alsoFarmers Institutes .

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Smith-Lever Act

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