As early as 1912, some contacts with farm women were made through the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Efforts included a demonstration train carrying a staff of lecturers and demonstration materials. Then came the movable schools, usually of three or four days duration and making extensive use of exhibits and illustrative material.

On October 1, 1913, Mrs. Helen B. Wolcott was appointed State Agent. Her task was to organize Extension work in Home Economics, through County workers. The program work was largely along the lines of food preservation, clothing conservation, health and sanitation. By 1914, Home Demonstration Agents were serving in Christian, Daviess, Harlan, Henderson, Laurel, Logan, Madison, Magoffin, Mercer, Muhlenberg, Rockcastle and Whitley counties. Some of the early appointments were on a short term basis and the agent's work was mainly giving instructions in canning tomatoes to girls and women.

After the Smith‐Lever Act was passed in 1914, the scope of Home Economics Extension increased rapidly. The number of specialists, supervisors and County Home Demonstration Agents increased as funds were appropriated.

After Mrs. Wolcott resigned on January 1, 1919, Miss Gertrude McCheyne served only a year and a half. She was followed by Miss Margaret Whittmore who served from November 29, 1920 to June 22, 1923. The duties of the office were discharged by Miss Lulie Logan until Miss Myrtle Weldon was appointed on June 1, 1924. Miss Weldon began with a staff of 24 Home Demonstration Agents in as many counties. The State Specialists were organized as a resident Home Economics staff.

The organization of farm women for homemakers' work started with the organization of clubs known as Home Demonstration Clubs. Not until 1924, was a County organization set up and a suggested constitution submitted to counties. By the end of 1925, a majority of the 24 counties had perfected a County organization and had adopted a suggested constitution, with a few adaptations to meet local needs. This form of organization has been an effective means for developing leadership, delegating responsibility, securing local participation and developing effective procedure.

In 1932, after several years of discussion and expressed interest, a state organization was formed to unify the efforts of homemakers in Kentucky, to strengthen their voice, to further develop leadership and to broaden horizons. This group, which was named the Kentucky Federation of Homemakers, was organized at Farm and Home Week with Mrs. Lyda Lynch Hall of Fayette County as its first State President.

A constitution of the Kentucky Federation of Homemakers was written soon after the organization was formed. Twenty‐nine counties became members of the State Federation at the time it was organized. By 1939, 59 counties were members and 108 counties had joined the Federation by 1958. The first dues were two cents per member. This amount was raised to five cents per member, and in 1958 was increased to 15 cents per member, payable to the State Treasurer of the Federation by November 30 of each year. In 1964, dues became payable on January 1, based on the membership as of the preceding December 1. Dues were increased to 25 cents per member in 1970. In 1974, dues were increased to 50 cents per member, continuing to be based on the membership as of the preceding December 1.

Many changes have been made to provide for continued growth of the organization. In the beginning, Directors were elected at the Annual Business Meeting of the Federation. Since 1948, the Directors, now called Area Presidents, have been elected at their Area Meetings.

The Reading Committee, 1938, established the Homemakers Library and made available library books, which were sent to counties upon request and served many people until it was disbanded in 1953.

The original four Standing Committees ‐‐ Membership, Publicity, Reading and Citizenship ‐‐ were gradually expanded to 11 ‐‐ Cultural Arts, Citizenship and Community Outreach, Clothing and Textiles, Family Life, Foods and Nutrition, Health, Housing, Energy and Environment, Management and Family Economics, 4‐H, Public Information and Young Homemaker. (As of 1994, the number of committees was reduced to three ‐‐ Family, Environment and Global/International.)

Since 1936, the Kentucky Federation has been a member of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). A delegation of about 300 women from Kentucky joined 6,700 other women from the United States in greeting representatives who attended the Third Triennial Conference held in Washington, D.C. Kentucky has been represented at each of the Triennial Conferences by one or more delegates.

In 1962, Mrs. R.P. Matchett of Kenton County was elected to serve as the ACWW Area Vice President for the United States and was re‐elected for a second 3‐year term in 1965. Homemakers members in Kentucky have frequently voiced the feeling that they are links in a chain which reaches around the world. Their sympathies, interests and understanding have been immeasurably broadened and deepened by this contract.

The Kentucky Association has been a member of the United States Liaison Committee, now the Country Women's Council (CWC), since 1939. This group meets annually to promote the work of ACWW. The National Home Demonstration Council (NHDC) was organized June 1, 1936, in Washington, D.C. at the Triennial Meeting of the ACWW. In 1939, Mrs. Lyda Lynch Hall of Fayette County became the second President of the NHDC.

Mrs. Dorothy Bullock, Homemakers member from Larue County, submitted the song Onward, Ever Onward in a contest conducted by the NHDC in 1956. This song was declared the winner and was adopted as the official song of the National Extension Homemakers Council (NEHC).

The Myrtle Weldon Student Loan Fund was established in 1943, by the State organization, in appreciation of the leadership of Miss Myrtle Weldon. The objective of the fund was to make sufficient monies available at a low rate of interest to deserving Home Economics (now Human Environmental Sciences) students. Miss Weldon served 31 years (1924‐1955) as State Leader of Home Demonstration Agents. She passed away November 19, 1971. In 1972, the first Myrtle Weldon Memorial Scholarship was presented to an outstanding student majoring in Home Economics (Human Environmental Sciences) at the University of Kentucky.

In 1964, the idea for a five cent postage stamp design was conceived by Murial Moore of Bardstown. Kathleen Magyar contacted Norman Todhunter who did the art work, then Magyar put it to graph. The United States Postal Service issued the stamp in honor of the Homemakers organization.

Virginia McCandless, KEHA Health Chairman 1976‐79, initiated the Ovarian Cancer Fund. The goal of the KEHA Health Committee at that time was to raise $1 per member until they had $31,000 to donate to research at the Albert B. Chandler Medical Center at the University of Kentucky. The statewide fund was started in March 1977. They reached their goal in four years. The project has continued and thrived under KEHA sponsorship.

A NEHC flag was introduced at the 1976 Annual NEHC Conference. The designer of the flag was Gladys C.

Medley of Marshall County. Mrs. Medley took her idea to Tommy Troutman, an artist in Paducah, Kentucky, who sketched and painted the design she had in mind. It was submitted and approved by the Board of directors. At the 1975 Annual Meeting the Board of Directors ordered the flag to lead the procession at the 1976 Annual Meeting. The flag was updated in 1992, when the name changed to NAFCE.

Under the guidance of the 1974‐77 Cultural Arts Chairman, Kentucky Homemakers members compiled a record of all the areas of cultural, scenic and historical interest in the book Kentucky Treasure Trails. This book is very helpful when traveling throughout Kentucky to interesting and unique places.

A needlepoint tapestry of 120 county and 6 special squares were "woven together" and formally presented to the Commonwealth of Kentucky on March 20, 1980. The tapestry along with a descriptive book, A Labor of Love, was dedicated as it hung outside the rotunda in the Capitol on August 19, 1980.

The print Homemaker by artist Bill Granstaff commemorates the 50th Anniversary of KEHA was unveiled at the State Meeting, May 12, 1983. Items in the print depict early projects and activities of Homemakers. A change purse, egg carton, old quilt, and canning jar and lids are examples.

A delegation of Kentucky Homemakers members, County Extension Agents for Home Economics Extension and an advisor attended a Family Community Leadership (FCL) Workshop in Florida in November 1985.  Following this meeting, delegates returned to Kentucky to conduct five workshops across the state with approximately 1,000 Homemakers members participating. Through these workshops, KEHA is endeavoring to train its members to be more effective leaders in their counties and communities.

In an Historical Appraisal of Home Demonstration Work in Kentucky 19141939, written by Miss Myrtle Weldon, she stated, "Home Demonstration work is giving the homemaker an opportunity for self‐expression, is challenging her ability, is elevating the common task, is giving her an appreciation of her part in a work economy, and her contribution to world society, and is helping her to become a person more interesting to herself, her family and her neighbors." Two existing problems were also pointed out by Miss Weldon ‐‐ correlation of the programs of many agencies working with farm people, and reaching more of the low-income underprivileged group with an educational program. Miss Weldon's prophetic vision in identifying these problems is now being reflected in the changing emphasis of Extension programs.

Following Miss Weldon's retirement, Miss Alda Henning served as Acting State Leader (1955‐1956) until Dr. Viola Hansen came to serve as Chairman of Home Economics Extension Programs.

Dr. Hansen served until 1965 when an automobile accident resulted in her retirement. In 1970, the Viola K. Hansen Scholarship Fund was established to honor Dr. Hansen who served as Chairman of Home Economics Programs for nine years. This scholarship is awarded annually to a student attending the University of Kentucky College of Human Environmental Sciences (formerly College of Home Economics).

Mrs. Ruth Saunders (Allen) became Acting Program Chairman of Home Economics Extension in the Fall of 1965, and continued until her retirement in April 1968. This period was characterized by a transition from county planning to area planning. At the March 1968 Annual Meeting, a new constitution was approved and the name changed to Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association (KEHA). In May 1968, Dr. Burt E. Coody, Extension Specialist in Family Life, became Acting Chairman of Home Economics Extension Programs.

In 1969, the position of Chairman of Home Economics Extension Programs was changed to that of Assistant Director of Extension for Home Economics. Dr. Doris Tichenor served in this position from October 1, 1969 until 1984. At this time, a return to emphasis on strengthening County programs began.

At the 1974 Annual Meeting, KEHA voted to incorporate and is now known as Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association, Inc.

In August 1984, Dr. Suzanne Badenhop became the Assistant Director of Extension for Home Economics, and served in this capacity until March 1992. On March 1, 1992, Dr. Darlene Forester was appointed Interim Assistant Director for Home Economics Extension and served in that capacity until July 1, 1993, when she became Assistant Director for Home Economics Extension.

A Kentucky delegation of KEHA members, a specialist and an advisor attended an FCL workshop in Denver, Colorado in September 1986. Kentucky received a pilot grant of $2,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1987 and a $50,000 grant to conduct the FCL program over a 3‐year period. An FCL Board was organized with equal representation of KEHA members and Extension faculty. The basic purpose of FCL is to improve the leadership and organizational skills of family members in order that they may participate more effectively in the identification, analysis and resolution of public policy issues affecting families and communities.

KEHA also received a grant for the ABC's of Nursery Safety in 1987 and the Alcohol and Traffic Safety grant in 1988. KEHA is striving to secure more grants to expand their programs.

In 1989, the NEHC Board voted to locate the new National Headquarters in Burlington, Kentucky. KEHA President Patty Ann Moorhead and Boone County District Extension Board President Bill Smith played a major role in the NEHC site visit.

At the 1993 KEHA Annual Meeting, Voting Delegates from each County voted to approve a structural change in the organization. The new structure changed the number of Standing Committees to three ‐‐ Family, Environment and Global/International. The three Chairmen are elected and the 14 Area Presidents are appointed to serve as members of these Committees. All educational programs fall under one of the three Committees. A Vice‐President for Public Policy was added. The structure change became effective in 1994.

In 1993, members of CES and KEHA jointly developed a document called Roles and Relationships. This document helped to clarify the roles of State, Area and County Homemakers members and their working relationships with CES.

With the resignation of Dr. Darlene Forester in November 1997, Dr. Janet Kurzynske was appointed Interim Assistant Director. In November 1998, Dr. Bonnie Tanner was employed as Assistant Director of Extension Home Economics Programs.

In Spring 1999, the name Home Economics was officially changed to Family and Consumer Sciences, a name which more accurately describes the work done by Extension specialists and agents in Kentucky.

At the March 28, 1995 KEHA Board Meeting it was recommended that: A letter should be sent to the President of NAFCE (National Association for Family Community Education) stating that the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association is now doing business with them as the Kentucky Association for Family Community Education. (The attorney will write the letter to be sent to NAFCE June 1, 1995.)

At the KEHA Annual Meeting in April 1998, county voting delegates voted to disassociate the national affiliation with the National Association for Family and Community Education due to differences in philosophy. The title of Vice President for Public Policy was changed to Vice President for Leadership Development.

August 1‐3, 2000, KEHA hosted the NVON (National Volunteer Outreach Network) regional meeting.

Restructuring of the KEHA Board began in 2001.

KEHA sponsored two members to attend the Summit on Economic Status of Kentucky Women held June 20‐21, 2003 in Frankfort.

The objective of the KEHA International Program for 2003‐2005 was to have a better understanding of Native Americans by working with Lame Deer Reservation and St. Labre Schools in Montana. In 2003 KEHA members contributed 1,400 baby items; in 2004 they donated 4,000 blankets and 2,000 pairs of socks; in 2005 they will be sending school supplies.

November, 2003, President Harned appointed the following Archives Committee: Evelyn Ballard, Mary Warfield, Shirley Fitzpatrick, Patty Ann Moorhead, and Jean Davis. In January, 2005, this committee turned over their work to the University of Kentucky Library to be stored.

In 2004, KEHA combined the Ella Evans Scholarship Fund, the Viola Hansen Scholarship Fund and the Myrtle Weldon Memorial Scholarship Fund into the Evans/Hansen/Weldon Memorial Scholarship Fund. For many years leaders in the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences personnel have met the challenges of developing new ideas and expanding programs.

Concern for meeting the changing needs of people has remained the central focus of these programs. History reveals that the Cooperative Extension Service in Kentucky is continuing to fulfill its role as an informal educational service of the University of Kentucky, directed toward “Helping people help themselves.

In 2005 homemakers donated school supplies for the St. Labre and Lame Deer schools. They collected over 12,000 pounds of paper, pencils, crayons, notebooks, and other supplies. Two bus loads of homemakers traveled to Montana to meet the recipients and present the supplies and a check.

In July 2005, Mabel Harned was elected Vice President of NVON, our national organization. A new scholarship was approved by the Board of Directors. It will be awarded to a student at UK, who is planning a career as a Family & Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Agent. The first scholarship will be awarded in 2007.

The amount contributed to the ovarian cancer project as of May 2006 is $881,841.98.

In 2007, KEHA celebrated 75 years as an organization. Members kicked off a year of special events to observe the anniversary, at the state annual meeting in Bowling Green. A special commemorative pin was designed and introduced.

The theme for the celebration year was “75 Years of Learning, Leading & Serving”. The organization will use the anniversary year to look back at our progress and successes and create long range plans for a more successful future.

In February of 2008, KEHA was recognized by the Kentucky State Legislature for 75 years of service to the Commonwealth through our partnership with UK College of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service. Over 400 KEHA members and Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agents attended the daylong celebration in Frankfort. The culmination of the 75th anniversary took place at the 75th KEHA State Meeting at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville in May 2008 as we celebrated the theme “Hats Off to Homemakers.”

Recognition was given to members, clubs and counties as KEHA surpassed the $1,000,000 mark in giving to UK’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program in May 2009. Virginia McCandless, KEHA State Health Chairman from 1976 ‐79 who initiated the fundraising effort, was honored and her five children were in attendance at the 2009 KEHA State Meeting in Ft. Mitchell, KY. The UK Ovarian Cancer Program continues to work with KEHA to provide screening all across the state of Kentucky. Screening sites are now located in Paducah, Elizabethtown, Somerset, Maysville, and Prestonsburg in addition to the primary location in Lexington at UK’s Markey Cancer Center.

An international connection was made with the Kentucky Academy, a kindergarten in Adjeikrom, Ghana in West Africa. Through assistance from Dr. Ann Vail, Director, School of Human Environmental Sciences and Assistant Director, Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension; and Ghana native Dr. Kwaku Addo, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, KEHA members adopted the school which serves about 70 students. School supplies were donated and funds were raised to make capital improvements at the school in 2008. A Homemaker tour of the school and region took place in the summer of 2009 with KEHA members and FCS agents participating. Fundraising continued in 2009 and 2010, and many goals were met. In 2010, KEHA and University of Kentucky support has culminated in the building of a kitchen and dining pavilion for the Kentucky Academy.

Coordinated through UK’s Cooperative Extension Service, a program called “Second Sunday” was adapted from South America and Kentucky’s Governor proclaimed the second Sunday in October as a day of physical fitness and family involvement. KEHA members were in Frankfort with the Governor for the proclamation. FCS agents coordinated the project in many of Kentucky’s 120 counties, and KEHA took on the project as part of the Foods, Health & Nutrition Educational Program.

KEHA’s fundraising activity for international awareness and friendship was renamed “Coins for Change” in 2010. The name change allowed KEHA to continue to support the ACWW “Pennies for Friendship” program by still sending the same percentage of funds collected to the London, England office and maintaining funding  for KEHA’s International educational program on the international, national and state levels.

In 2011, the KEHA International Chairman traveled to Ghana with a group from the University of Kentucky to continue the partnership and support for the Kentucky Academy in Adjeikrom, Ghana. KEHA funded the purchase of furniture for the previously constructed dining pavilion and further improvements to the facility.  During the 2011 trip, work began to develop a school garden and the feeding program for the Kentucky Academy was initiated.

The year 2012 marked the 80th anniversary of KEHA. To commemorate the occasion, KEHA commissioned artist John Ward to develop an 80th anniversary print. The print was unveiled at the 2012 KEHA State Meeting.

In July 2013, KEHA hosted the National Volunteer Outreach Network annual conference in Frankfort, Kentucky.