In partnership with the Extension Foundation, the University of New Hampshire was awarded the USDA-NIFA New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement (Grant Number 2023-41595-41325).
The Technology-Enhanced Cooperative Extension Hub (TECHExt), a groundbreaking initiative led by the University of New Hampshire Extension (UNH Extension) in partnership with the Extension Foundation (EXF), aims to revolutionize the Cooperative Extension System (CES) by infusing it with state-of-the-art technologies and practices. The project aligns with the strategic priorities of the USDA-NIFA and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), aiming to foster innovation, increase the capacity of Extension professionals, update NewTechnologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) delivery and management policies, enable locally meaningful opportunities through responsive marketing, and conduct comprehensive evaluations for continuous improvement.
This project will meld UNH Extension’s deep-rooted expertise in community-based research and outreach with EXF’s successful initiatives like Connect Extension, Ask Extension, and ExtensionBot. Utilizing EXF’s substantial track record of executing impactful programs — evidenced by its efficient utilization of over $2.1 million in funding across 72 Extension collaborations in the previous NTAE project cycle– TECHExt is designed to enhance digital accessibility, professional capacity, and stakeholder engagement. UNH Extension will focus on two cornerstone projects: implementing New Hampshire’s comprehensive Digital Equity Plan and transforming its existing email marketing into an integrated omnichannel strategy. These initiatives will align with EXF’s Connect Extension for internal and external community engagement and Ask Extension’s public-facing Q&A service, which answered over 39,212 public inquiries in 2022 alone. Through this strategic collaboration, UNH Extension and EXF aim to create a more inclusive, effective, and technologically advanced CES, setting a precedent for similar systems nationwide. The full award briefing can be found on USDA-NIFA’s website linked here.
More information about this award will be available in the Fall of 2023, including funding opportunities for Cooperative Extension professionals. Please visit extension.org to stay up-to-date with developments.