The Extension Foundation (EXF) was awarded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in the Fall of 2022 to serve as the Technical Service Provider for the NEXTGEN Funding Opportunity.
According to USDA-NIFA, “…the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) ‘From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals Program’ (NextGen) will enable eligible institutions, from New York to the Northern Mariana Islands, to build and sustain the next generation of food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences workforce. This includes efforts to strengthen USDA’s workforce through enhanced educational support, experiential learning and exposure to early career opportunities. Eligible institutions include: 1890 Land-grant Universities, 1994 Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSI), Alaska Native-serving and Native Hawaiian-serving Institutions and institutions of higher education located in the insular areas, as well as their partners. The $262.5 million investment will provide training and support to more than 20,000 future food and agricultural leaders through 33 project partners.”
All eligible institutions were able to utilize EXF services at no cost to help expand their capacity through proposal copy and editing, identifying partners, and strengthening their overall proposals and applications.
Participants shared that:
- EXF resources helped strengthen the proposal,
- EXF resources helped clients cross the finish line,
- EXF offered unique/boutique services,
- EXF offered services based on client needs,
- EXF resources were flexible,
- EXF was a good partner to both the client institutions and USDA-NIFA, and
- Recommendations for future similar offerings.
The response to the EXF technical assistance opportunity was positively overwhelming and a success. EXF served 252 eligible institutions and partners in approximately 12 weeks. Over 90% of respondents of the post support survey would use the NEXTGEN Technical Services again and over 92% would recommend these services to other institutions. Of the 33 awarded institutions, the Extension Foundation provided services to 27. The Extension Foundation will continue to provide services to all awarded institutions during the planning and implementation of their proposals.
About the Extension Foundation
Our mission is to help Cooperative Extension generate a more visible, measurable, local impact.
We achieve this through our nationally funded programs made possible by member dollars and cooperative agreements with federal agencies, and through partnering on state, regional, and national initiatives with Cooperative Extension and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). We serve all Land Grant Universities, regardless of membership status.