All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation’s 112 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
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 also provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. Its purpose is in its mission statement: to help U.S. Cooperative Extension make a more visible, measurable, impact on local issues.