From left, Bob Weldon, Ann Vail and Jimmy Henning unveil the newest historical marker at UK. Lexington, Ky.- Family and consumer sciences extension personnel honored an early, influential extension educator and their program’s centennial anniversary with a historical marker. The marker was unveiled Dec. 2 outside of the Myrtle Weldon Suite in the E.S. Good Barn on the University of Kentucky’s campus.

“We are honored to place this historical marker in recognition of 100 years of family and consumer sciences extension at the University of Kentucky,” said Ann Vail, assistant director of UK family and consumer sciences extension. “Thousands of agents have served the people of Kentucky over the last century. It is fitting that we also recognize Myrtle Weldon on the same marker. She had the initial vision for what has become the FCS extension program in 2014.”

Joining Vail at the ceremony were Weldon’s nephew, Bob Weldon, Jimmy Henning, director of the UK Cooperative Extension Service, and Becky Riddle, coordinator of the Historical Marker Program for the Kentucky Historical Society.

In Kentucky, family and consumer sciences extension programming began in 1914 when UK hired 17 county extension agents to teach food preservation. Weldon became state leader of the then UK home economics extension program in 1924. Weldon oversaw the program grow in educational emphasis and in agent numbers during her 31-year tenure. In addition, she played an instrumental role in the beginnings of the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association, a group that formed in 1932.

Bob Weldon said the marker carries forward his family’s legacy of self-betterment to the state.

“As a young person, Myrtle learned how several generations of her family overcame obstacles and became farmers, educators and business people,” he said. “We hope that others will reflect on this and become aware that whatever their current situation, if they persist with their personal set of values, then they can improve their own and their family’s economic well-being and enjoyment of life, just as my aunt did.”

Connee Wheeler, UK senior extension associate, was the driving force behind the historical marker.

“I love reading the historical markers on campus and all over the state,” Wheeler said. “We have a lot of things in family and consumer sciences extension that could be placed on them.”

The Kentucky Historical Marker program provides Kentuckians with the opportunity to explore historical events, people and places in their own communities.

Author: Katie Pratt
Contact: Connee Wheeler, 859-257-3887
Terms: FCS