Who We Are
The Cooperative Extension Service is a nationwide informal educational system created by the federal Smith-Lever Act of 1914. It is a partnership between state land grant universities, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the county governments throughout the nation. All of these groups share in the planning, financing, and operation of extension programs. Funding and programs are provided jointly by the federal, state and local government partners. Here, that’s the USDA, the University of Florida’s IFAS and the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners.
Most of the 3,200 counties nationwide have a county Extension agent whose role is to provide informal, pragmatic education and informational services to
- commercial and homeowner / hobbyist agriculture and agribusiness
- natural resource based enterprises
- local citizens as households, consumers and families
- youth and community organizations
The Extension office is a department within county government. The office collaborates with other county and USDA offices, the chamber of commerce, agri-industry and consumer groups, the public library and the school system to fulfill its roles of information services, technology transfer and assistance to individuals or groups in making informed decisions in their self-interest.