Gardening is a passion of mine. I initially started my studies in agronomy and later changed to nutrition. The cooperative extension became an important part of my education and a wonderful resource. It was also the first job I had as a dietitian, teaching nutrition in a summer program through Cornell University Extension.
What is the Cooperative Extension?
The Cooperative Extension, also known as the Extension Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, is a research based educational program designed to help people in the areas of agriculture and food, home and family, the environment, community economic development, and youth and 4-H. The service is provided in every state's designated land-grant universities.
NIFA is the federal partner in the Cooperative Extension System. It provides federal funding to the system and, through program leadership, helps the system identify and address current issues and problems.
The Morrill Act of 1862 established land-grant universities to educate citizens in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other practical professions. Extension was formalized in 1914, with the Smith-Lever Act. It established the partnership between the agricultural colleges and the USDA to provide for cooperative agricultural extension work.
Over the last century, the extension has adapted to changing times, and it continues to address a wide range of human, plant, and animal needs in both urban and rural areas. The cooperative extension focuses education in six major areas:
1. 4-H Youth Development
3. Leadership Development
4. Natural Resources
5. Family and Consumer Sciences
6. Community and Economic Development
Below are educational videos prepared by various Cooperative Extensions across the United States.
How to Grow Blueberries
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
University of California Cooperative Extension Turns 100
Caring for Asparagus
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Eat Smart New York! -
Cornell Cooperative Extension Westchester County
Color Yourself Healthy
University of Nebraska
Florida Statewide Extension Sustainability Programs
1. To find your nearest Cooperative Extension office.
2. National Gardening Association
3. Food Gardening Guide