The launch will be announced at 10:30 a.m. September 19, 2012 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., immediately following the new eXtension Foundation National Leadership Council meeting. The initiative’s launch coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which granted public land to the states for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanical arts and created the Land-Grant University system. America's Research-based Learning Network, eXtension, offers free webinars, online learning lessons, multimedia projects, videos, and diagnostic tools meeting public needs at the local level with research-based information on topics such as nutrition and safe food, natural resources, energy, personal finances, livestock and crops, and more. The eXtension site also includes a collection of Frequently Asked Questions, content feeds and much more to help people solve life problems. If a consumer can’t find the information he or she is looking for, experts monitor and answer questions through the Ask an Expert feature. All of eXtension’s interactive learning resources are available to consumers at no cost.
All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation's more than 75 land-grant colleges and universities, have a third critical mission—extension. "Extension" means "reaching out," and—along with teaching and research—land-grant institutions "extend" their resources, solving public needs with university resources through non-formal, non-credit programs.
For nearly 100 years Cooperative Extension, as part of the nation's land-grant university system, has worked to provide objective, research-based education and information to improve the lives of Americans.
America's Research-based Learning Network is addressing many critical issues facing the United States and the world including:
- Protecting our natural resources and the environment
- Ensuring an abundant and safe food supply
- Working for greater energy efficiency and independence
- Improving physical, mental and emotional well-being
- Strengthening financial and investment skills for individuals, families and businesses
In the early days of Extension, agents and educators left their universities to take trains and autos to go out to where the people were. Today Cooperative Extension workers use YouTube, blogs, webinars, Facebook, Twitter and other social media venues to go where people gather to seek and share ideas and learning.
The Cooperative Extension System still plays an important role in American life—rural, urban, and suburban. With its unprecedented reach—Extension expertise meets public needs at the local level. Extension serves a growing, increasingly diverse constituency with fewer resources.
eXtension - America's Research-based Learning Network is made up of more than 70 topic communities, with 55 online at eXtension.org. New topic areas are added monthly. eXtension experts provide a range of information from beekeeping to nutrition to childcare and eldercare to livestock and crops to entrepreneurship and community development to home energy, financial planning, gardening and pest management to youth development and much, much more.