WE TEACH COMMUNITIES
What is Extension?
Most colleges and universities engage in research and teaching. In the United States, approximately 200 of these institutions are designated as land-grant colleges and universities, and these have an additional third role called “Extension.” The role of Extension is to “reach out,” and—along with teaching and research—to extend their resources to serve the public need.
The land-grant university system in the US was the results of the of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The mission of these institutions was to focus on the teaching of practical agriculture, science, military science, and engineering as a response to the Industrial Revolution and changing social class. The Smith-Lever Act, passed in 1914, established the partnership between the land-grant colleges and the federal government through the USDA and local county governments to support this outreach. In 1994, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act, the tribal colleges were authorized by the US Congress as land-grant colleges. Today, there are a total of 112 land-grant institutions, of which 19 are historically black and 33 are tribal, with approximately 2,900 extension offices nationwide.
What do we do?
Cooperative Extension is a network of professional educators, trained volunteers, and agents in local (country) offices. Extension reaches across the nation to address local, state, national, and global needs. Today, Extension works to translate science for practical application; it identifies emerging research questions, finds answers, and encourages application of science and technology to improve agricultural, economic, and social conditions. It prepares people to break the cycle of poverty, encourages healthful lifestyles, prepares youth for responsible adulthood, and provides rapid response regarding disasters and emergencies.
In our department, our Extension faculty share their specialized expertise in areas such as:
Who are our stakeholders?
Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) Extension specialists (faculty) and other extension program personnel interact with a wide variety of individuals and organizations who have an interest and need for the type of information we provide. These are termed “stakeholders” and can include individuals seeking information, companies (particularly food companies) that need help with technical issues, produce growers and packers, as well as other academic partners, regulators, and even government funding agencies. FSHN extension scientists have been an integral part of the FSHN department since its inception.
- Extension Workshops