Women from around North Carolina gathered Wednesday at the Jane S. McKimmon Center to kickoff the Family and Consumer Sciences centennial.
The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program is a part of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Begun in 1911, the program began with McKimmon working as a demonstration agent, going into homes of primarily rural women and assisting them with issues like nutrition and poverty relief.
Today the program works through outreach to help families in counties throughout the state understand issues associated with energy efficiency, finances, education, literacy, and health care.
Attendees were treated to a rich tapestry of artifacts that depicted domestic life in the state throughout the last 100 years: washboards, Singer sewing machines, Aristocrat canning cookers and quilts dating back a century.
Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Service, a book chronicling the history of FCS, was unveiled at the event. “The book takes and tells a story from every county in North Carolina,” says Marshall Stewart, program leader for FCS at NC State. “When you read it, you can see the history of North Carolina taking shape.”
The celebration also recognized 25 inaugural members into the McKimmon Hall of Fame, some of whom were asked to describe the program’s legacy.
Judy Mock ’82 EDD: The power of education, particularly for rural women. We enable people to be responsible and raise their quality of life. We’re still tied to our roots. The programs are never going to go away.
Sandra Zaslow ’87 PHD: The foundation is Jane McKimmon and all the people in the counties. It’s always been a people-driven program. And that has continued unbroken.
Juanita Hudson: Everything changes, but it’s a growing opportunity. [FCS] has endured because of the research at NC State.