Ellwood C. Perisho came to State from Vermillion where he been Dean of Arts and Sciences and brought with him extensive experience in higher education. Despite the war, which caused a decline in enrollment and some financial strain, the college saw great growth under Perisho. During his term, the college joined the North Central Association and started the Cooperative Extension Service, now a major branch of the university.
In 1914, in an effort to increase food production for the war effort, federal aid for extension was granted through the Smith-Lever Act. The Smith-Hughes Act, which followed in 1917, called for the expansion of the Education Department to include training for agriculture and home economics. In addition to the impact the additions had on the service of the college to South Dakota, it also resulted in growth on campus. Many new subjects were introduced, and the department of Poultry Husbandry was also formed. The expansion resulted in many new buildings, including the stock judging pavilion, a hog plant, and a poultry plant. "The Barn" and the Administration building were also completed, and both the campus and the college began to resemble today's university.