All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation's land-grant colleges and universities, have a third critical mission—Extension. "Extension" means "reaching out," and—along with teaching and research—land-grant institutions, such as the University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, "extend" their resources, solving public needs with college or university resources through non-formal, non-credit educational programs.
Congress created the Cooperative Extension System in 1914 with passage of the Smith-Lever Act. The purpose was to address exclusively rural, agricultural issues. At that time, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas, and 30 percent of the workforce was engaged in farming. Extension's engagement with rural America helped make possible the American agricultural revolution, which dramatically increased farm productivity.
Times have changed and today University of Maryland Extension not only continues to support Agriculture but also assists and educates Maryland’s urban and suburban citizens with its programs in 4-H and Youth, the Chesapeake Bay, the Environment, Food and Nutrition, Home Gardening, Health and Wellness, and Home Financial Management.
Learn more about Extension with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR). Information regarding AGNR’s involvement in 4-H, Agriculture, Food Nutrition, Health and Wellness, Home Gardening and much more can be found here, as well news and upcoming events happening in and around Maryland’s counties.
Dr. Robert Kratochvil