Smith–Lever Act of 1914
The Smith–Lever Act of 1914 is a United States federal law that established a system of cooperative extension services, connected to the land-grant universities, in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, public policy/government, leadership, 4-H, economic development, coastal issues (National Sea Grant College Program), and many other related subjects. It helped farmers learn new agricultural techniques by the introduction of home instruction.
The appropriation for cooperative extension is shared between the states based on the following formula. Once the historic amount that has been allocated for "special needs" programs is set aside and an additional 4% is reserved for USDA administrative costs, the remaining funds are allocated:
- 20% shared by all States in equal proportions;
- 40% shared in the proportion that the rural population of each bears to the total rural population of the several States as determined by the census;
- 40% shared in the proportion that the farm population of each bears to the total farm population of the several States as determined by the census.
Except for the "1994 Land-grant colleges" for native Americans, each state must match its Federal cooperative extension funds.
In addition, an amount no less than 6% of the total Smith-Lever Act approriation is appropriated for the extension programs of the "1890 Land-grant colleges" (historically black colleges). These funds are also shared between the 1890 colleges by the 20%-40%-40% formula, with Alabama A&M and Tuskegee University treated as though they were in different states.