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Extension today: Challenges of keeping extension relevant.
B. R. Durgan (1), B. R. DURGAN (1). (1) University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, U.S.A.

The Morrill Act of 1862 established land grant universities and the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 formalized Extension, mandating the Federal Government (through USDA) to provide each state with funds based on a population-related formula. Through these acts, the nation’s more than 100 land grant colleges and universities “extend” their resources within their states and across the country, solving public needs with university resources through non-formal, non-credit programs. Throughout its history Extension in every state has connected the people with their land grant university. In the beginning, production agriculture was the primary focus of Extension. Extension programs quickly expanded to include youth development and home economics, however, the focus continued to be based on the issues of rural America. The programs of Extension today include many other areas and disciplines, including programs in both rural and urban areas. The future relevance of Extension will depend on Extension’s ability to adapt and chance in response to societal needs, while remaining true to the land grant mission.

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