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Volunteers celebrate 100 years of extension service

News Release Distributed 10/29/14

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Volunteers for Family and Community members used their 2014 Mini College fall training program on the LSU campus as an opportunity to celebrate the 100 years of the Cooperative Extension Service on October 15-16.

Martha Latimer, president of the LVFC group in Denham Springs said the meeting focused on the expertise of the LSU AgCenter and featured a number of its experts who shared insights about the work they do every day.

AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill discussed his work and spoke about how much it has changed during his time at the AgCenter.

“When I started in the horticulture industry, it was normal to hear about the can yard,” Gill said. “That might date me a little bit because back then plastic was not so big yet.”

AgCenter extension associate Susan Riley with the 4-H Operation Military Kids led the attendees in filling hero packs to say thanks and show support for those who serve in the military.

Debbie Melvin, AgCenter family and consumer sciences agent in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes along with extension associate Anne Kean showed how anyone c

an get a little exercise in, often while still seated.

AgCenter speakers and others on the program included LSU entomology department chair Tim Schowalter, who discussed changes in things that bug us. Schowalter discussed how fly swatters used to be an essential household item and fire ants were unknown.

WAFB chief meteorologist Jay Grymes’ discussed improvement in forecasting weather, especially hurricanes. Food writer Corrine Cook from The (Baton Rouge) Advocate walked those in attendance down memory lane and into the future of food preparation.

Latimer said the Louisiana Volunteers for Family and Community organization was formerly called homemakers clubs, which taught housewives to cook, can and sew.

One of the highlights of the meeting was Pam Vinci, a curator of the LSU Textile and Costume Museum, as dinner speaker on “Can You Believe We Wore That? Styles through the Century.”

The theme for that dinner was Dress for the Decades – A Birthday Celebration Dinner.

“This allowed our members to choose their favorite decade and they came dressed as they did then,” Latimer said. “I’m coming in my favorite outfit from 1957, a pair of rolled-up blue jeans and my dad’s white shirt.”

Latimer said the purpose of the group is to support the AgCenter in its mission and programs.

“We have gone to the legislature on behalf of the AgCenter, and at one time we were even teaching the 4-H program Character Counts,” Latimer said.

For additional information on the Louisiana Volunteers for Family and Community organization, visit the AgCenter website at

Johnny Morgan

Last Updated: 10/29/2014 1:24:09 PM

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