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Extension Acronyms and Common Terms

Extension Service jargon and acronyms can be confusing to the uninitiated. Remember that the public, too, can be annoyed if you're using acronyms that might not be familiar to them.
Here are some acronyms and names of frequently used programs, organizations and other references.

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act – The federal law that requires Extension and other federally funded entities to make accommodation for people with disabilities.

AES – Agricultural Experiment Station (in some sates, Agricultural Extension Service, the state partner).

AFRI - Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - This is the competitive grants program administered by NIFA to support research, extension, and education grants. It replaced the National Research Initiative (NRI) grants program.

ANR – Agriculture and Natural Resources (program areas).

APLU - Association of Public and Land-grant Universities - A non-profit association of public reserach universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems [formerly National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC)].

AREERA - Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act - The federal system to submit plans of work and annual reports for extension and agricultural experiment stations to account for Hatch (research) and Smith Lever (extension) funds received from USDA.

CARET – Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching – A national grassroots organization of lay persons from the constituencies served by the land-grant colleges of agriculture. Each state and territory has up to three CARET members designated by and working closely with their respective land-grant college to offer guidance and support for programs in agricultural research, extension and teaching.

CES – Cooperative Extension System – The national publicly funded nonformal educational system that links the educational and research resources and activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; land-grant universities in every state, territory and the District of Columbia; and about 3,150 county administrative units. The mission of this federal, state and local partnership is to enable people to improve their lives and communities through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work.

ECOP – Extension Committee on Organization and Policy) – The representative governing body of the Extension System; its membership composed largely of the Extension Directors of each state.

EDEN – Extension Disaster Education Network – An interdisciplinary national Extension group that shares information on disaster preparation and recovery.

EEO – Equal Employment Opportunity.

ELT - Extension Leadership Team - A team who is responsible for establishment and implementation of policies and procedures relating to extension programs, personnel, budget and public relations. The team is comprised of the Extension Director, assistant directors, district directors, the Ag Communication Director, the Assistant to the Director, and the directors of the Centers for 4-H Youth Development and Community Vitality.

EFNEP – Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program – A federally funded program that teaches low-income families with young children and low-income youth how to improve their dietary practices and become more effective managers of available resources.

ESCOP – Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy – The representative governing body of the Experiment Station Section, composed largely of the Directors of the Experiment Station in each state.

ESP – Epsilon Sigma Phi – The Extension Service's honorary fraternity.

EXT - The abbreviation for Extension, usually the NDSU Extension Service.

Federal Base – A critical element of the state/federal partnership, these funds are matched by state funds to maintain a strong, responsive infrastructure at the state level for agricultural research, extension, and teaching.

FNP – Family Nutrition Program – A federally funded program that serves food stamp recipients or eligible non-participants about eating right and resource management.

IBID – Institute for Business and Industry Development.

JCEP – Joint Council of Extension Professionals – A partnership of the four professional organizations (Epsilon Sigma Phi, National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, National Association of Extension Agriculture Agents).

Land-Grant System - a term used to describe the set of U. S. state and territorial institutions of higher learning which receive federal support for integrated programs of agricultural teaching, research, and extension for agriculture, food, and environmental systems. Five historic Acts of Congress undergird this national system and the resultant state/federal partnership for conducting these activities:

The Justin Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 which provided federal support in the form of a grant of federal lands to any state or territory which agreed to establish a public institution for the teaching of agriculture and the mechanical arts, and promote liberal and practical education. These are referred to as the "1862 land-grant institutions."

The Justin Morril Land-Grant Act of 1890 which provided for federal support for the establishment of institutions, primarily for agricultural education of Blacks, in the then-segregated Southern states. These are referred to as the "1890 land-grant institutions."

The Hatch Act of 1887 which authorized federal support for agricultural research at the state and territorial levels and the establishment of an Agricultural Experiment Station associated with each U. S. land-grant university. Hatch funds are administered by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 which authorized federal support at the state and territorial levels for extension services, established a Cooperative Extension Service associated with each U. S. land-grant university. Smith-Lever funds are administered by the CSREES of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The Cooperative Extension System serves both rural and urban populations throughout the nation.

The Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 which authorized land-grant status to 29 tribal colleges. These are known as the "1994 land-grant institutions."

LEAD21 - An annual program to develop leaders in land-grant institutions and their strategic partners who link research, academics, and extension in order to lead more effectively in an increasingly complex environment, either in their current position or as they aspire to other positions.

MPU – Multicounty Program Unit – Call them "units" to avoid using this acronym.

NAE4-HA - National Association of Extension 4-H Agents

NEAFCS - National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

NACAA - National Association of County Agricultural Agents

NIFA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture - The USDA agency that supports research, education, and extension programs in the Land Grant University System. It replaced the former Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) in 2008.

NCR – North Central Region – 12 states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin.

NELD North Central – National Extension Leadership Development – An Extension Leadership development program of the North Central Region states.

NDAE4-HYW – North Dakota Association of Extension 4-H Youth Workers

NDAEA – North Dakota Association of Extension Agents (primarily agriculture)

NDEAFCS – North Dakota Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

NDUS – North Dakota University System

PLC – Program Leadership Committee – An ECOP committee that responds to critical issues, facilitates interdisciplinary Extension programs and coordinates task forces that develop new initiatives.

PODC – Personnel and Organizational Development Committee – An ECOP committee that promotes employee competence, recommends improved methods of delivering Extension programs and encourages multi-state professional improvement.

POW – Plan of Work

Program Council - A group comprised of program planning team chairs, program leaders, department heads/chairs, district directors, the Extension Director, Ag Communication Director and other communication staff who focus on extension program planning, program delivery, and faculty and staff in-service training.

REC – Research Extension Center – North Dakota's RECs are Carrington, Dickinson, Hettinger, Langdon, North Central (Minot), Central Grasslands (Streeter), Williston and the Agronomy Seed Farm at Casselton.

SBARE – State Board of Agricultural Research and Education

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 – Authorized federal support at the state and territorial levels for extension services, established a Cooperative Extension Service associated with each U.S. land-grant college. Smith-Lever funds are administered by the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Cooperative Extension System serves both rural and urban populations throughout the nation, transferring research based information to local citizens, families, businesses and communities.

SPC – Strategic Planning Council – An ECOP committee that leads futuring, visioning and planning for Extension.

USDA – U.S. Department of Agriculture

Volunteers – Unpaid lay and professional persons who offer their services in support of the CES organization and its educational programs.

1890s and Tuskegee University – The historically black land-grant institutions in 16 southern states.

1994 Institutions – Reservation-based land-grant institutions

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