The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics (NAREEE) board, which advises the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on policies about effective federal agricultural research, education and education, recently met at Texas A&M University. A focus of the meeting was the role, impacts and programs of the Cooperative Extension System. A number of USDA leaders and state Extension Directors/Administrators shared information with the Board. Also, information about a number of CES programs was shared including a session on eXtension.
Dan Cotton, eXtension Director, and Natalie Hummel, Extension Specialist, Louisiana State University Ag Center, and a leader of the Blueberries Community of Practice defined what eXtension is, how it is organized, and the important role of Communities of Practice in augmenting CES programming and how CES is working to engage online audiences.
According to Natalie, “eXtension has transformed my work as an Extension professional…learning to engage people through social media…extending my reach and opportunity to engage colleagues and the audience in meaningful learning opportunities.”
Following the session, the Board asked many interesting questions and share a number of observations on the importance of eXtension in today’s society.