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Welcome to NDSU Extension


You are joining one of the boldest and most successful non-formal educational partnerships in the world. NDSU Extension has a proud history in North Dakota dating back to 1914 when the Cooperative Extension Service came into being through the federal Smith-Lever Act.

What is Extension?

Looking back at the history of Extension, the Smith Lever Act of 1914 established a system of cooperative extension services, connected to the land-grant universities, in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, and related subjects. Just as society has changed over the years, so has the Extension Service. In 1862 when the Morrill Act was signed by President Lincoln, 60% of all jobs were connected to agriculture. Today we find less than 2% of the population is engaged in agriculture. Because the Extension Service continues to adapt to the needs of its clientele, Extension will be relevant for years to come.

NDSU Extension Purpose

The purpose of NDSU Extension is "to create learning partnerships that help adults and youth enhance their lives and communities." Print out the NDSU Extension purpose and post it in your office.

This short sentence says much. Extension is a grassroots organization that provides educational resources to serve the local needs. Notice the purpose does not specifically say agriculture or families or youth. Though our efforts especially emphasize some areas, we carry out interdisciplinary programs to assist communities to improve the quality of life based on citizen input.


Our vision is to be a premier lifelong education network that helps North Dakotans improve their quality of life. To achieve that vision, we will strive to be innovative, adaptable and willing to take risks to create new ways of thinking, learning and addressing issues.


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