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Extension Foundation Selects Thirteen Coordinators from Land-grant Universities for AgriProspects Workforce Development Network


The Extension Foundation (EXF) in collaboration with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Economic & Workforce Development Program Action Team are collaborating with USDA-NIFA staff to form a robust network of public and private entities across every U.S. region to build the nation’s capacity to respond to the changing needs in the food and agriculture sector.

The effort, called AgriProspects, aims to foster regional cooperation, identify workforce ecosystem gaps, and offer collaborative, adaptive solutions to local and regional employment challenges. The project focuses on increasing awareness of and expanding access to Extension resources which enhance skill levels, facilitate credential attainment, and prepare participants for successful entry or re-entry into the workforce.

Individuals from across Cooperative Extension were selected through a competitive application to serve as Regional Network Coordinators and Regional Content Coordinators. These individuals represent all six regions of Cooperative Extension including representation from 1862, 1890, and 1994 Land-grant universities and specific subject matter needs.Their work supports the key objectives of AgriProspects, which include:

  • Creating a dynamic clearinghouse to organize and share Extension’s adult workforce development (AWD) offerings for the agricultural sector;
  • Developing a sustainable network of Extension educators and industry partners to strengthen the alignment of Extension’s agricultural AWD offerings with real-time industry needs;
  • Connecting employers, workforce intermediaries, and the agricultural workforce to Extension’s skill development programs that cultivate upskilling, credentialing, and participant readiness to successfully join or rejoin the ag workforce; and
  • Supporting the creation, evolution, expansion, and integration of Extension AWD programs locally, regionally, and nationally through mini-grant funding.

The selected coordinators include:

  • Latonna Old Elk, Little Big Horn College (1994 Region)
  • Felix Nez, Blackfeet Community College (1994 Region)
  • Dr. Lana Petrie, Tennessee State University (1890 Region)
  • Von Barnes, Kentucky State University (1890 Region)
  • Dan Nieland, Iowa State University (National – Entrepreneurship & Self-Employment)
  • Tanya Hall, Purdue University (North Central Region)
  • Dr. Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (North Central Region)
  • Kate Venturini Hardesty, University of Rhode Island (Northeast Region)
  • Andrea Franchini, University of Maryland (Northeast Region)
  • Dr. Mark Mains, University of Kentucky (Southern Region)
  • Clint Cummings, University of Tennessee (Southern Region)
  • Dr. Trevor Lane, Washington State University (Western Region)
  • Maritza Broce, University of Arizona (Western Region)

For more information about the AgriProspects Workforce Development Network, please visit

This work is supported through a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI Education and Workforce Development Competitive Grant 2023-67037-40533.

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This website is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of use at

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