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We are NDSU Extension: Our Goals and Objectives (4/22/2015)

Who sets the goals and objectives of the NDSU Extension Service?  You do, with citizen input!

The NDSU Extension Service’s credibility and relevancy was earned by our ability to anticipate and respond to local and state needs. Through a process that begins with grassroots input and dialogue, these needs are transformed into the goals and objectives we pursue. Meeting these needs is our “end game.” According to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” Because local needs and support are critical to maintaining high levels of relevancy and credibility, Extension places a high value on organized citizen input processes to identify current issues and needs. These can include county advisory boards, 4-H councils, crop improvement boards, state advisory boards and others.

How are these needs collected and assessed? Locally by agents and educators, and regionally and state-wide by specialists. These needs are brought to one of the 10 program teams to assess, consider and shape into program priorities. The program teams define the priority goals and objectives, and ultimately deliver the educational content. Team designed educational programs that are delivered at multiple sites, engage agents and educators in the delivery of content and have an evaluation component are termed “signature programs.” Identified needs that are beyond the resources available to the program teams are passed on to one of the four program leaders, and ultimately presented to the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE). SBARE has the authority and responsibility to rank and prioritize these needs and present them to the legislature as budget initiatives.

Who develops the goals and objectives for programs that involve multiple states?  Multistate and North Central Region goals and objectives are determined by directors, program leaders and specialists, and these programs help meet our federal requirements for 25 percent expenditure of Smith-Lever funds on multi-state projects.  Federal goals and objectives may be set by a number of federal partners such as the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The bottom line: Extension’s value is highly driven by our ability to anticipate and respond to local and state needs. And these needs are met by the goals and objectives set by you!

Next up: Core Values

Charlie Stoltenow, Assistant Director, ANR

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