In 1911, Penn State requested money from the state legislature to fund a system of agricultural agents to distribute knowledge from the School of Agriculture to practicing farmers across the state. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 provided $10,000 annually to each state for agricultural and home economics extension allowing for the expansion of the agricultural cooperative extension.
By 1921, Pennsylvania was one of only six states to have a centralized agricultural cooperative extension program. The extension service employed specialists in economics, forestry, pesticides, soils, agronomy, family life, and many other subjects. The agents for Penn State's extension program were essential to:
Dean Watts addressing farmers in Butler County, June 3, 1916.