1890 Land Grant Universities Launch Food System Mapping Demonstration Project

We all realize the importance of reporting impacts to our funders and policy makers. eXtension and a cohort of 1890 Land Grant Universities realized that they could not just provide data to these stakeholders, but must provide it in a way that visualizes the data in order to make it more useful to their stakeholders.

illustration of gps mappingFort Valley State University, Langston University, and Prairie View A&M University have partnered with Michigan State University and the eXtension Foundation to create a demonstration project of a mapping tool that will allow key audiences to see the impact of these universities on a neighborhood level.

The 1890 Extension Administrators of these universities envision that this planned tool will allow the universities to convey impact in the underserved populations, rather than numbers, and convey the human connections. Dr. Mark Latimore, Chair of the Association of Extension Administrators and Fort Valley State University Extension Administrator, stated “As the result of this pilot project, I visualize an increase in program participation by individuals seeking solutions to many challenges that can be solved through Extension. The buy-in to Extension will also increase.” For example, policy makers will be able to zoom to a neighborhood community center and see the impact the universities are making in order to make lifestyle changes. Additional links will contain video and related links.

Christine Geith, CEO of the eXtension Foundation, stated, “We hope that this demonstration project will open up more collaboration and networking opportunities between the Universities and their partners and provide Extension Administrators with the visualization information they need in developing program planning.”

The team of data experts from the universities is busy collecting data related to food systems in the areas they serve in order to meet the scheduled release of June 2016. For more information about the 1890 Food System Mapping Pilot, contact Terrence Wolfork, eXtension 1890 Liaison, at wolforkt@extension.org