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Although considered a local office staffed by people who live here, the Salt Lake County office of Utah State University's Extension Service has state and national ties.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the first legislation establishing colleges that were to be made accessible to the general population. That education was taken to the farmers of the nation by a few college faculty members near the turn of the century.In 1911, Utah Agricultural College staff members began outreach efforts in the southeastern part of the state. Their work helped farmers increase their yields, control pests and improved other practices, taking the resources of the state school to the people, people who couldn't, for any number of reasons, go to college.

This fledgling, innovative approach was to spread throughout the nation when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Lever Act on May 8, 1914.

The public is invited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this event at an open house to be held at the Salt Lake County USU Extension Service office on May 8 from noon to 3 p.m. The office is in Room S1007 of the South Building of the new County Government Center, 21st South and State.

Besides refreshments that emphasize nutrition and health, drawings will be held for garden seeds and tools. In addition, miniclasses will feature subjects that exemplify the wide range of educational offerings from USU faculty members in Salt Lake County.

Here's the open house program schedule:

12:10 p.m. - Lawn care. How to manage the most universal plant in the yard, with Larry Sagers.

12:40 p.m. - Organize a home business center. Eliminate the paper overload, with Marilyn King.

1:12 p.m. - Summer fun for your kids through 4-H. Prevent summer boredom complaints, with Mark Nelson and Jean Kobayashi.

1:40 p.m. - No garden? Planting in containers, with Duane Hatch.

2:10 p.m. - Low-fat, low-cost entertaining. Healthy snacks to keep you and your guests fit, with JoAnn Mortensen.

2:40 p.m. - Instant wardrobe from your sewing machine. Sewing with modular knits, with Jean Kobayashi.