During my spring listening tour of Iowa and many times since, I have talked about keeping Iowa State University Extension relevant for today. That’s because Extension is as necessary in the 21st century as it was in 1862, when the Morrill Act was passed, creating the land grant mission of teaching, research and extension.
The great contribution of Justin Morrill’s vision for the land grant university was to bring the power of the university to bear on whatever challenges lay before society. Today, Extension must be both useful and helpful. We must address challenges as far-reaching as helping youth find their education and career paths, to supporting Iowans as they manage the bioeconomy, which cuts across the social, cultural and political fabric of our state.
Extension is relevant through
the relationships we build with organizations, agencies, businesses, communities and individual Iowans of all ages;
renewal — improving quality of life, providing opportunities for lifelong learning and helping communities develop as good places to live, work and raise a family; and
resources we bring to the table — the research from Iowa State, our ISU Extension staff and our connections throughout the state. Our network of county offices provides a local presence for Extension and access to Iowa State University in every county.
Relationships, recruitment, renewal and resources — these key ingredients define Extension’s relevance today. Extension professionals are your “solutions specialists” who have meaningful, long-standing relationships with local communities. We can link you to 21st century research and education from Iowa State University to help you improve the quality of life in your community, our state, our country and around the world.
Jack M. Payne, Vice President for ISU Extension and Outreach