What is Cooperative Extension?

All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation’s 111 Land-grant Universities and Colleges, including Historically Black Land-grant Universities and Tribal Colleges, have a third critical mission—Extension. “Extension” means reaching out and extending university research and resources to meet public needs through non-formal educational programs at the community level. The Cooperative Extension System (CES) engages people in these educational opportunities to help them solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future where they live and work.

With thousands of Land-grant University and county-based Extension employees and over 2 million volunteers, CES crosses every state and U.S. territory. Working with a network of public and private organizations, CES brings science-based resources to the people and communities who need them most. Find Extension Programs Across the Nation.

How does the Extension Foundation fit in?

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs.

The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives.

Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

Christine Geith (christinegeith@extension.org)

Chief Operating Officer

Beverly Coberly (bevcoberly@extension.org)


Communications, Marketing, & Engagement

Partnership Development

Digital Publishing, Evaluation, & Engagement

Program & Team Development

Technology Solutions

Our Board of Directors

Voting Members

North Central Region

Gregg Hadley, Chair
Associate Professor & Director of Extension
Kansas State University

1890 Region


Western Region

Vicki McCracken, Treasurer
Associate Dean & Director of Extension
Washington State University

Southern Region

Damona Doye
Associate Vice President
Oklahoma State University

Northeastern Region

Lisa Townson
Associate Dean, Extension and Agricultural Programs
University of Rhode Island

1994 Region

Brian Kowalkowski
Dean of Continuing Education
College of Menominee Nation


Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP)

Caroline Henney
Executive Director
Cooperative Extension
Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP)

Roger Rennekamp
Extension Health Director
Cooperative Extension
Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP)

USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Suzanne Stluka
Division Director
Family & Consumer Sciences, Youth & 4-H