Historical Archives

Organization and the early years

The National Home Demonstration Agents' association became a reality on June 29, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the annual meeting of the American Home Economics Association (AHEA).

Twenty-one home demonstration agents from thirteen states met for breakfast in the Schroeder Hotel and discussed the possibility and advisability of forming a national organization to promote the interest of home demonstration work.

States represented were: Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. This was actually the fourth meeting of this group, but no action had been taken at the other meetings.

At that organizational meeting many values of a national association were discussed. The most legitimate reason was planning the pre-convention conference and program in conjunction with the AHEA meeting each year. Of equal importance was the possibility of giving home agents a voice in forming state polices through a national organization and its local affiliates.

A constitution was adopted in 1934 and the name of the organization was The Home Demonstration Agents' National Association (HDANA).

The object was to:

  • provide a permanent national organization for Home Demonstration Agents of the United States of America and territories.
  • raise professional standards.
  • promote fellowship among its members.
  • provide a centralized means for exchanging ideas and methods.
  • encourage the organization of new state associations of home demonstration agents.

1933-1942 — Organization took place immediately and Miss Anna Searl from Pontiac, Illinois, became the first president.

National Association of Extension Home Economists (NAEHE)

The organization later changed its name to the National Association of Extension Home Economists (NAEHE). At the time, the name change better reflected the changes in extension on a national basis.

The NAEHE was a professional improvement organization providing encouragement and opportunities for members to improve their skills as home economists and adult educators. The association rewarded member excellence through its Educational Awards fund, which annually awarded over $50,000 to its members through awards, recognition, scholarships and fellowships.

National Negro Home Demonstration Agents Association (NNHDAA)

In 1958, the National Negro Home Demonstration Agents Association (NNHDAA) was founded. NNHDAA members enriched the home economics movement by providing educational experiences for the family, developing programs and resources and providing support leadership and community development initiatives. In November 1965, NNHDAA dissoved and its members joined NAEHE.

National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS)

As a result of the evolution of the profession from Home Economist to Family and Consumer Science, the Association changed its name in 1995. During the business meeting of the 1995 annual session in Dallas, Texas the voting delegates approved a change to the By-Laws to change the name. The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science (NEAFCS) name was adopted and Donna Donald was the first president under the new name and structure.

To remain current and relevant to the needs of the membership the association develops a strategic plan. The president-elect monitors the strategic plan. The plans are set for a four-year period.

The organization has grown to nearly 1800 active and affiliate members of Family & Consumer Science Extension across the nation and its territories. Additionally, the association has 1,170 life members. NEAFCS members, link research to life experiences by interpreting research and delivering that information to families. Extension Family & Consumer Science Educators help people develop the skills necessary to care for family members, promote individual growth and development, and meet individual and family needs for food, housing, fuel, and other requirements essential to health and safety.

National Association of Extension Home Economists 50th Anniversary Survey — NAEHE conducted a survey on the occasion of its 50th anniversary to determine the leading concerns of American families. Learn about the leading issues in 1984.

NAEHE History, 1933-1975

NAEHE Narrative Histories, 1933-1995

NAEHE Chronological Histories, 1933-1995

NAEHE Affiliate Histories — 50th Anniversary Celebration (1987)

NEAFCS Chronological Histories, 1993-Present

NEAFCS 75th Anniversary

NEAFCS Affiliate Histories — 75th Anniversary Celebration (2009)

NEAFCS 85th Anniversary

Past Presidents & Past Executive Boards

Association Historian

National Negro Home Demonstration Agents Association (NNHDAA), 1957-1965

Past Award & Fellowship Recipients

Please help us fill in the gaps in our NEAFCS history by sending photographs and other "missing" information to the NEAFCS Historian.


This gavel was created for NEAFCS by artist Emil Milan. We last had possession of this gavel at our closing session of Annual Session 2012 in Columbus, OH.