eXtension: A Look Back at 2019 and What’s Coming for 2020

Working Together For Greater Impact

 In 2019, eXtension leveraged $1.1 million in membership and Cooperative Extension received $2.4 million in return. 

2019 has been a busy and productive year for the eXtension Foundation. From our work supporting members through the Impact Collaborative, to the work being done for the whole system through the USDA-NIFA New Technologies for Agricultural Extension Cooperative Agreement, to supporting Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs through a Cooperative Agreement with the EPA – we wanted to take a moment to share those highlights with you. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2020!


Projects Incubated in eXtension’s Impact Collaborative Receive $1.2 Million in Return

eXtension’s Impact Collaborative has reached over 3500 Extension professionals on 250+ project teams representing 50 insitutions at 30 national and local events since 2016. In 2019, $690K in federal grants were awarded to teams that incubated with the Impact Collaborative. $60K in grants were provided directly through the Impact Collaborative. eXtension provided $412K in travel and registration costs for Extension professionals to participate with the Impact Collaborative.

59 New Innovation Facilitators Trained 

The Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Facilitator Training is more than a train-the-trainer program. This network of Extension professionals works hand-in-hand with the Impact Collaborative to deliver a structured process for innovation, integrates within a project or program team to bring a fresh perspective, helps identify potential gaps in planning, and guides teams to support and resources to fill those gaps.

We trained 41 new Facilitators in January, and 18 new Facilitators in March representing 41 Land-Grant Universities. This brings the total number of trained Facilitators to 107, representing 50 institutions.

The next Innovation Facilitator Training will be in February, 2020.


Supercharging Extension Teams through Two National Summits

The Impact Collaborative Summit is an experience for Extension professionals at any stage of project or program development to speed up that process through one-on-one coaching, access to a network of Key Informant expertise to fill gaps and needs, and multiple opportunities to share their story. 93.2% of responding participants recommend the Impact Collaborative Summit to others.

$60K in grants were awarded to teams at the Impact Collaborative Summits in April and October. Teams reported acquiring new skills, more informed projects and programs, new or increased innovation, and team growth. Learn more about what participants experienced, evaluation results, and success stories here

In 2020, the Impact Collaborative will host two national Summits virtually. For eXtension members, there will be no limit on the number of teams that can participate.


Supporting Members Locally

The Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Skill-Building Experience is a structured process designed for Cooperative Extension professionals to help with finding more innovative ways to move projects and programs forward. 

In 2019, the Impact Collaborative brought its Innovation Skill-Building Experience to members at the University of Nevada-RenoNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of MaineUniversity of Idaho, and the University of Georgia.

Learn more about the results of those events here


Exclusive Content & Professional Development through Engage & Empower Online 

Unlimited access to professional development opportunities led by Extension and partner organizations for our members.

In May 2019, we introduced Engage & Empower Online to our members. Since then, 1000 Extension professionals have joined the platform to connect with exclusive access to publications and presentations made available through our partnership with the Insititute for the Future. Additionally, members had the exclusive opportunity to participate in a series of 12 Learning Circles ranging in topics from Creating Thriving Family Farms to Self-Branding to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Workplace or Community.

In 2020, two professional development opportunities will be delivered each month along with a new series in partnership with the Scattergood Foundation on Trauma-Informed Practice. Learn more about Engage & Empower Online and register for an account here


Your Partner in 2020

In 2020, eXtension members have the benefit of leveraging our Impact Collaborative program to help guide vision and strategy, support alignment, cultivate community engagement and ownership of projects, establish shared measures across the system, advance policy, and mobilize resources in the diverse program areas of Cooperative Extension locally, regionally, and nationally. Learn more and join us here


New Technology Through USDA-NIFA Cooperative Agreement, Four Extension Projects Receive $185K in Support

In partnership with Oklahoma State University, the eXtension Foundation was awarded the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement. Our work through this Cooperative Agreement is to support the entire Land-Grant University System regardless of membership in eXtension. For year one (2019-2020), four Extension projects have received $65K in Fellowships and Operating Support, and an additional $120K will be go to marketing firms supporting these projects.

Piloting New Methods for Program Scale and Implementation

As part of eXtension’s New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA, the eXtension Foundation is partnering with four existing programs aligned with USDA strategic goals across Cooperative Extension in Year One to explore new methods and models for program scale and implementation. These initiatives are being documented in a series of eFieldbooks to inform the system of the models, learnings, and outcomes. Professional development opportunities will be created and delivered centered upon these learnings and offered to the entire system beginning in 2020 through the new FlexLearn platform.

Learn more about each project:


The Next Generation of eXtension Technology

As eXtension looks to 2020 and beyond, it has adopted a new set of tools, technology, and services to better serve the Cooperative Extension System. With the success of our legacy tools and custom coded platforms, eXtension has taken steps to preserve that valuable content and build upon the success of those tools. The new tools, technology, and services provide Extension professionals with greater flexibility, expand access to resources, and enable eXtension to deliver professional development for both its membership base and the Land-Grant university system as a whole.

New technology includes an upgraded version of Ask An Expert, branded Ask Extension, that incorporates Artificial Intelligence; WordPress Sites for Multi-State and National Projectsnew eFieldbooks; and professional development opportunities through FlexLearn.

Read about the Next Generation of eXtension Technology here!


Three New eFieldbooks 

Are you looking for a collection of resources pertaining to Evaluation, Urban Extension, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or Opioid Response? Our eFieldbooks, authored by Cooperative Extension professionals are a great place to start.

eFieldbooks are created with Department of Defense Advanced Distributed Learning technology and are interactive multimedia ebooks that help establish processes and assist with the delivery of new programs. These books work on mobile applications and can be brought into the field.

Through the eXtension Foundation, these eFieldbooks were created by Cooperative Extension Professionals selected by their professional associations and appointed as eXtension Fellows.

New eFieldbooks in 2019 include:

  • Extension Evaluation Matters, Teresa McCoy, NAEPSDP
  • Urban Extension, Cynthia Pierfax & Jody Norman, NUEL
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Lindsey Lunsford, Tuskegee University

You can access the eFieldbook Library here


Customer Relationship Management Fellow Explores Usage Across Cooperative Extension

Stephen Judd, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, is serving as eXtension’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Fellow. His work includes evaluating CRM usage for Extension.

The success of Extension is built on the relationship with clientele, volunteers, stakeholders, and partners. These relationships are developed by multiple staff, over time, and are often not clear to other staff and decision-makers.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are a tool widely used by companies to track their interactions with customers and partners. CRM is also being used by Extension systems to keep track of their interactions with people, though the preferred term for the “C” in CRM may be clientele or contact.

Take a look here at Stephen’s webinar on CRM, and read his articles here


Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith named eXtension’s Educational Technology Fellow


Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith has been appointed as eXtension’s Educational Technology Fellow. This fellowship is made possible by the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA. The purpose of this Fellowship is to catalyze adoption and awareness of new educational technologies and practices among professionals in the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. Learn more here


eXtension Announces Futuring Technology Committee for New Technologies for Agricultural Extension Cooperative Agreement


Through the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement and In partnership with Oklahoma State University, the eXtension Foundation has formed a Futuring Technology Committee to serve as an advisor for several initiatives within the Cooperative Agreement. The committee is led by Dr. Jerry Thomas, Leader for Innovation and Change, Ohio State University. Learn more here.  


Nearly $1 Million in Funding for Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs

Through a Cooperative Agreement with the Envrionmental Protection Agency (EPA), the eXtension Foundation distributes funding to Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs through the Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program (PSEFMP).

50 Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs Applied and Recieved Funding through PSEFMP

In 2019, 50 Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEP) applied and received funding through the Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program. A total of $983,856.90 was awarded to all applicants. The average award for each PSEP was approximately $20K. In return for the funding, PSEP programs develop projects that further support Pesticide Safety Education efforts across their states, and are shared with PSEP programs across state lines.