On Saturday, August 2nd the University of Maryland Extension office of Worcester County invited the Eastern Shore community to an Open House in celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of Extension as part of the annual Blessing of the Combines event. The city of Snow Hill was bustling with activity. As the largest town event of the year, the streets were lined with vendors and local service organizations, people came from all over the area to share in the festivities, food and entertainment.
Blessing of the Combines event kick starts the harvest season, honoring the area farmers for their hard work and long hours dedicated throughout the year to yield a healthy harvest. A parade of the large combines and farm equipment through the streets ends in the downtown area of the small town of Snow Hill. People not only get a chance to be up-close to these massive modern day “tools” of farming, but to meet the local farmers who are many times their neighbors. The day showcases agriculture in the community with a petting zoo and children's barnyards, hayrides, food, games, family fun throughout the town.
This event was the perfect opportunity for the Worcester County Extension Office to showcase the many programs and services offered to the public. To showcase UME youth programs, the 4-H team set up a corn hole game, a creative S.T.E.M. activity and the popular LEGO WeDo Robotics on the UME front lawn. Fresh watermelon and cantaloupe were provided as refreshments while people toured the Extension Office, viewing the display tables while conversing with the Extension team, who was present to introduce themselves and answer questions. There was also the opportunity for people to buy raffle tickets to win the 4-H Foundation quilt.
Signed 100 years ago, the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension Service, “a state by state national network of educators who extend university-based research and knowledge to the people”. Maryland Extension has a rich heritage and proudly shares this with the community. Extension will be focusing on the future contemporary issues and the launching of educational programming that continues to transform the lives of individuals, families, youth, farmers, communities and businesses.