Banner Image. One Hundred Years of Extension
Search Items
Back to Exhibits List

Demonstration Today

When cars replaced trains as the favored mode of transportation, it did not take long for the demonstration exhibits to jump from the train car to the tow hitch.  This gave agents the ability to travel when and where they wanted without worry of rail lines or train schedules.  Agents also set up demonstration booths at county and state fairs and any other events that might draw a crowd.  Tours and fieldtrips were another popular and effective way of engaging audiences and giving them the opportunity to see the latest agricultural techniques in action.  With such a big state and only a few demonstration agents to cover it all, one of extension’s most effective means of demonstration came in the form of their home study group programs.  With these programs, interested citizens could write off to the college to receive a packet of information designed to make them their own agents.  These packets included lesson plans, reference materials, glass projection slides, and suggested topics and activities to help communities form their own local study group in a wide range of subjects. 


Mobile Kitchen
Mobile kitchen, part of the Extension Service's Farm Electrification Exhibit, 1938.

The demonstration tradition continues today.  Popular programs such as the Master Gardeners, Master Woodland Managers, and the Master Food Educators connect experts with their communities through booths at farmer’s markets, plant sales, and weekend workshops.  Instructional videos delivered directly to a home computer have replaced the glass slide presentations that used to be shipped around the state.  And, in recent years, Extension has looked to the internet to reach an even wider audience through interactive on-line communities like eXtension and “How To” Communities.  While the means of delivery and the content included may have changed drastically throughout the past century, the philosophy of education through innovation and outreach is still foundational to the Extension Service’s message. 

Master Gardeners plant sale, April 1998
Master Gardeners plant sale, Lane County, April 1998.