What is the University of Florida/ IFAS Extension Service
543350 US Hwy. 1, Callahan, FL 32011 904-530-6350
UF Extension provides non-formal education and learning activities to people throughout the country — to farmers and other residents of rural communities as well as to people living in urban areas. It emphasizes taking knowledge gained through research and education and bringing it directly to the people (agricultural producers, small business owners, consumers, families, and youth) to create positive changes.
IMPROVING LIVES IN RURAL AND URBAN AREAS
The hallmarks of the extension program — openness, accessibility, and service — illuminate how cooperative extension brings evidence-based science and modern technologies to farmers, consumers, and families. Through extension, land-grant institutions reach out to offer their resources to address public needs. By educating farmers on business operations and on modern agricultural science and technologies, extension contributes to the success of countless farms, ranches, and rural business. Further, these services improve the lives of consumers and families through nutrition education, food safety training, and youth leadership development.
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
In 2014, NIFA and our land-grant university partners celebrated 100 years of Cooperative Extension in the United States. The Smith-Lever Act formalized extension in 1914, but its roots go back to agricultural clubs and societies of the early 1800s. The act expanded USDA’s partnership with land-grant universities to apply research and provide education in agriculture. Over the last century, extension has adapted to changing times and landscapes, and it continues to address a wide range of human, plant, and animal needs in both urban and rural areas.
TODAY, EXTENSION WORKS TO:
- Translate science for practical application
- Identify emerging research questions, find answers and encourage application of science and technology to improve agricultural, economic, and social conditions
- Prepare people to break the cycle of poverty, encourage healthful lifestyles, and prepare youth for responsible adulthood
- Provide rapid response regarding disasters and emergencies
- Connect people to information and assistance available online through org (link is external)
The nation’s transformation from a manufacturing to an information society raises questions as to how to best reach an intended audience. Extension educators use modern technology to disseminate knowledge and tools but also rely on traditional human values and relationships to gain the attention and trust from the people they serve. As residents of the communities in which they work, local extension agents bring credibility to their roles as educators.
HORTICULTURE EXTENSION AGENT, FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES EXTENSION AGENT, 4-H EXTENSION AGENT, NATURAL RESOURCES EXTENSION AGENT, AGRICULTURE EXTENSION AGENT, SEA GRANT EXTENSION AGENT