July 10 2012 11:14 AM

"The Critical Role of Extension in Translating Agricultural Research"

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The critical role of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System in translating agricultural research into practical application is the subject of National C-FAR's ninth Research Hill Seminar in 2012 on Friday, July 13 at 10 AM in 337 Russell Senate Office Building and again at a ‘Lunch~N~Learn' at noon in 1300 Longworth House Office Building.

The featured speaker is Dr. Douglas L. Steele, Chair, Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), and Vice President, External Relations and Director of Extension, Montana State University. ECOP is the representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension.

"As we celebrate 150 years of the signing of the Morrill Act creating the Land-grant University System, Cooperative Extension continues as the nation's foremost transformational educators." says Steele. "I believe President Lincoln, who signed the innovative Morrill Act into law while Civil War was raging, would tell us to 1) continue investment in Cooperative Extension capacity, 2) retain our high touch, community-based approaches complemented with high tech, cutting edge delivery methods, and 3) prioritize programs to assure a safe and affordable food supply, healthy people and families, sustainable natural resources, and community economic vitality."

"This presentation provides an excellent example of the value of federally funded food and agricultural research, extension and education in producing the scientific outcomes and outreach needed to meet 21st century challenges and opportunities," says Chuck Conner, President of the National Coalition for Food & Agricultural Research (National C-FAR).

Abstract: The extension component of the land-grant university mission sets these public institutions apart from all others by focusing on how research can be translated to practical application. Originally created in 1862 by the Morrill Act, land-grant universities formally added Cooperative Extension in 1914 with passage of the Smith-Lever Act.

President Lincoln, who signed the Morrill Act while the Nation was in the midst of a Civil War might be asked what he would do today to ensure a safe and affordable food supply, healthy people and families, sustainable natural resources, and community economic vitality.

The presentation will summarize how transformational education offered through Cooperative Extension programs nationwide is at the core of assuring research results get in the hands of those who need them most.

National outcomes statements related to such emphasis areas as agricultural production, human nutrition, and youth civic engagement will be highlighted.

What would Lincoln do? Invest in Cooperative Extension capacity. Blend high touch, community-based educational opportunities with cutting edge high teach ones, and prioritize programs to focus on changed behavior.

Seminar presentations are available at http://www.ncfar.org/Hill_Seminar_Series.asp. The seminar is open to the public and the media.