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A High-Yield Proposition for Communications: Universities and Commodity Organizations

One advantage of a close, collaborative partnership is that sometimes (if you’re lucky), you forget the institutional or organizational boundaries you normally work in and good things happen. That’s been the case between Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Association — a fruitful partnership with a common mission to serve and inform farmers. Learn how university-state association partnerships like these, at a time when land-grant university budgets continue to shrink, can take on new relevance. The Iowa Soybean Association has provided nearly $40 million in funding over the past 35 years—an investment that never neglects communications goals, even in the brainstorming stage on lab and field research. To paraphrase Midwest writer Gary Eller, growing soybeans and stringing words together are something taken seriously in Iowa.


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About the Extension Foundation

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. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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