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From Jean Wilburn

By Staff | Jun 25, 2014

To the Editor:

The West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) organization is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of their beginning in 1914.

In 1914 the Smith-Lever Act created federal, state, and county funding for the advancement of Agriculture and a Division of Home Economics within the United States Department of Agriculture through the state land-grant university (WVU).

Congressman Lever felt that they had focused efforts on the farm man and his animals and they should now give attention to the wives and daughters. This 1914 bill’s purpose was to bring the female members of the household the principles of home making and management.

West Virginia’s first home demonstration agent (home advisor) was Miss A. J. Kersey. Kersey helped organize the first documented Farm Women’s Club in West Virginia on December 14, 1914, in Ohio County.

This Valley Grove Farm Women’s Club started with 12 members and is still an active club today.

There have been name changes of the organization through its history, but the mission has remained the same: “The mission of the West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service is to strengthen individuals and families through Continuing Education, Leadership Development, and Community Involvement for the betterment of all.”

The organization partners with West Virginia University to strengthen, develop, coordinate, and extend adult education to everyone and membership is open to all.

CEOS welcomes new clubs and new members. The 255 clubs in the state are located across 45 counties. There are Extension offices in each county where individuals can locate the closest club to their vicinity.

A state conference is held yearly at Jackson’s Mill in Weston, W.Va. The 2014 date is Oct. 7-9. There are educational classes and guest speakers during the event.

For more CEOS information visit the following: http://u/ or ext.wvu.edu/.

Jean Wilburn

WVCEOS Vice President