Virginia Tech History Resources: Virginia Cooperative Extension
Researching the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)
Here are some useful places to research the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and related individuals and organizations. For researching the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Service, see the page on this guide for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
About the VCE
A University-wide Extension Division was established on July 1, 1966, by the General Assembly. It combined the activities of the Cooperative Extension Service, General Extension Division, State Technical Services, and Continuing Education Center. However, extension work at the university can trace its roots to 1906 when an extension program was established in Virginia as a result of the farm demonstration work began by Dr. Seaman A. Knapp in Texas in 1903. Dr. John D. Eggleston, the superintendent of public instruction in Virginia at the time and later VPI president, invited Knapp to speak at a meeting in Richmond and that talk resulted in the beginning of the program in Virginia. When the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 was passed, authority for extension, or demonstration, work was transferred to Virginia Tech and it became known as the Agricultural Extension until 1966, when it became the Cooperative Extension Service before being absorbed into the overall Extension Division. In 1995, the Extension Division became the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station Division, often shortened to the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE).
These record groups contain official records, flyers, photographs, and more pertaining to the Virginia Cooperative Extension and affiliated organizations. The records are divided into assigned Record Groups designated by the prefix, RG. VCE records are designated as RG 26/x.
Collections of Extension Directors and Agents and Related Individuals and Organizations
Publications & Additional Resources
Land & Labor Acknowledgement
We thank the American Indian & Indigenous Community Center for providing this statement:
Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo / Monacan People’s homeland and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that legislation and practices like the Morrill Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands, both locally and in western territories.
We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo / Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.
We must also recognize that enslaved Black people generated revenue and resources used to establish Virginia Tech and were prohibited from attending until 1953. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.