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National Action Dialogue: Extension Futures, A Dialogue to inform Possible Extension Infrastructure/Equipment Proposals


Hosted by the Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP) and the eXtension Foundation

Recording Available Here

July 13th OR July 14th (Choose One Date)
1 PM - 3 PM ET

Cooperative Extension (CE) has used the flexibility of capacity funding to pivot rapidly and significantly to virtual instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This transformation has placed a strain on employees and budgets and has revealed both needs and opportunities for the future of CE work.

Purpose/Outcome : The purpose of the Action Dialogue is to imagine near-future possibilities for how CE can be served individuals and communities in the face of evolving needs and capabilities. This work will be done through a diversity, equity and inclusion framework that will include awareness of low-income and low access individuals. The outcome of this dialogue will support the transitional aspect of CE to a more-virtual delivery platform and will inform the need for funding of infrastructure/equipment needed for the envisioned future.

Focus Topics Include:

  1. National Community Learning Network - Advancing data-driven community decision making to address issues on access to healthcare, education, economic, and criminal justice across the nation.  The integration of the Cooperative Extension System and Community Learning through Data Driven Discovery (CLD3) will combine unprecedented amounts of data to foster unexpected discoveries, innovations, and advancements to quality of life across the nation.  Lead researchers conducting sponsored research will assist in replicating the model created through the Well Connected Communities program. 

  2. Digital Cooperatives - Sharing the acquisition of the necessary broadband, connectivity solutions, technology resources across the nation expanding on the framework of farm cooperatives that was created during the 1920’s and is still in operation today.

  3. Professional, Continuing Education, and Workforce Development - Develop high quality, direct to learner, customizable learning experiences that can address the unemployment rate, economic equity gaps, and potential talent gaps in communities across the nation.

  4. Infrastructure - Leveraging our place-based infrastructure in communities across the nation to provide responsive platform(s) and channels for trusted information and education.  Access to the equipment needed and platforms/channels and the capacity to use both.  

  5. Living Ecosystem of Professionals - The Cooperative Extension System is an engaged organization at the county and state level that enables the integration of cutting edge, science-based approaches to address issues facing communities, families, farmers, and youth.  Continue to leverage our basic mission to enable people to improve their lives and communities through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work. 

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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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