Extension education symposium: Reinventing extension as a resource-what does the future hold?

M. A. Mirando, J. M. Bewley, J. Blue, D. M. Amaral-Phillips, V. A. Corriher, K. M. Whittet, N. Arthur, D. J. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The mission of the Cooperative Exten-sion Service, as a component of the land-grant univer-sity system, is to disseminate new knowledge and to foster its application and use. Opportunities and chal-lenges facing animal agriculture in the United States have changed dramatically over the past few decades and require the use of new approaches and emerging technologies that are available to extension profes-sionals. Increased federal competitive grant funding for extension, the creation of eXtension, the develop-ment of smartphone and related electronic technolo-gies, and the rapidly increasing popularity of social media created new opportunities for extension educa-tors to disseminate knowledge to a variety of audiences and engage these audiences in electronic discussions. Competitive grant funding opportunities for extension efforts to advance animal agriculture became available from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agricul-ture (NIFA) and have increased dramatically in recent years. The majority of NIFA funding opportunities require extension efforts to be integrated with research, and NIFA encourages the use of eXtension and other cutting-edge approaches to extend research to tradition-al clientele and nontraditional audiences. A case study is presented to illustrate how research and extension were integrated to improve the adoption of AI by beef producers. Those in agriculture are increasingly resort-ing to the use of social media venues such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter to access informa-tion required to support their enterprises. Use of these various approaches by extension educators requires appreciation of the technology and an understanding of how the target audiences access information available on social media. Technology to deliver information is changing rapidly, and Cooperative Extension Service professionals will need to continuously evaluate digital technology and social media tools to appropriately inte-grate them into learning and educational opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3677-3692
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Extension
  • Grant funding
  • Integration
  • Social media
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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