Problem Solver

IN 2004, Extension directors and administrators from around the country realized the Internet and new technologies were going to play a vital role in the future of the Cooperative Extension system. As a result, they decided to create eXtension (pronounced e-extension), an interactive learning site that aims to deliver objective, research-based, credible knowledge to help growers solve problems in real time. “Its goal is to bring the resources of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System, found in nearly every U.S. county, to existing and new audiences via new technologies,” says Terry Meisenbach, communications and marketing leader of the eXtension Initiative.

eXtension In A Nutshell
• Offers peer-reviewed, research-based, unbiased content development and educational delivery.
• Focused on answers to users’ questions, problems, and life events, eXtension provides education in various formats, including frequently asked questions, brief fact sheets, Ask the Experts, chat sessions and discussion groups, decision support tools, Web conferencing, streaming video, distance diagnostics, and educational modules.
• Educational programs are aggregated rather than duplicated, meaning that users get customized answers to their questions – not a mountain of duplicative and somewhat related information.
• eXtension is organized into separate data management and delivery platforms, allowing rapid updates of information and access by users with any Internet-ready device.
• Educational programs and services are peer reviewed and consistent with standards and protocols to ensure the information is valid, concise, and easy to use.

The initiative is formed around communities of interest that include groups of individuals who share interests in common topics. Then, Cooperative Extension experts from land grant universities formed communities of practice. “These communities of practice work collaboratively to develop content found at www.extension.org,” Meisenbach says. “Content is peer reviewed and continues the objective, credible, and research-based traditions of traditional Cooperative Extension.”

eXtension is funded by an assessment that all directors and administrators pay based on their Smith-Lever (federal formula funds) funding, as well as by a federal grant program, New Technologies for Agricultural Extension.

There currently are approximately 60 different communities of practice on the site, including All About Blueberries, Apples, Bee Management, Grapes, and Wildlife Damage Management. Meisenbach says new communities of practice are being added all the time. eXtension also is using resources like Facebook and Twitter to interact with eXtension users and incorporate their input into Extension projects. “We welcome any and all to come to eXtension and become part of any of our communities,” Meisenbach says.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

Apples & PearsBig Apple Crop Expected
September 2, 2014
Generally high quality predicted at U.S. Apple Association Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference. Read More
Apples & PearsBeware Of Fruit Rots During Apple Harvest
September 2, 2014
Conditions lately have been ripe for fungi fiasco. Read More
Apples & PearsThey’re Back! 2014 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Populat…
September 2, 2014
Pressure building as traps filling up with pest by the hundreds. Read More
Farm ManagementStudy Shows ‘Megadrought’ On The Radar For …
September 2, 2014
Global warming trends fuel parched prediction from scientists. Read More
Farm ManagementTrimble’s Connected Farm Now Includes Field Data Mana…
September 2, 2014
Trimble adds two apps that work with their Connected Farm Web-based solution, providing growers and their advisors with more detailed field information. Read More
FruitsTips To Help You Manage Postharvest Ripening
September 2, 2014
Humidity, ethylene, and temperature can all impact fruit quality. Read More
CitrusHarness The Marketing Power Of Video
September 1, 2014
Multimedia platform is an effective and inexpensive marketing tool for you to attract new customers and keep existing ones loyal to your brand. Read More
Citrus Achievement AwardDespite Industry Challenges, Florida Citrus Leader Has …
September 1, 2014
2014 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Mike Sparks feels confident in crop sector's ability to regain strength. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Put Weeds Out To Pasture
September 1, 2014
No matter where they are, plants out of place can be problematic. Read More
TomatoesProduction Reaches An All-Time High For Processing Toma…
August 29, 2014
A record high is predicted for the 2014 processing tomato crop. Read More
CitrusFlorida Department Of Citrus Knocks NPR Piece Over Juic…
August 28, 2014
Agency goes to bat for the industry regarding statement slighting OJ's health benefits. Read More
Disease ControlLate Blight Update Reveals Heightened Activity
August 28, 2014
While several states in the Northeast have confirmed the presence of late blight, the disease has not been reported in North Dakota or Minnesota. Read More
CitrusFlorida Energy Firm Charged Up About Citrus Biomass Pot…
August 28, 2014
Machine called a game-changer when it comes to a cost-effective, efficient way for tree removal and re-purposing. Read More
EquipmentNew Tractors Improve Maneuverability And Operator Contr…
August 28, 2014
The Magnum Rowtrac tractors from Case IH meet growers’ cropping needs through a wide variety of row spacing and belt options.   Read More
NutsCalifornia County Passes Ordinance To Protect Walnut Gr…
August 27, 2014
Verification of ownership needed to complete sales of valuable nuts. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Hit By Russian Import Limits
August 27, 2014
Growers reflect on changes to export market in light of produce ban. Read More
Farm ManagementLeadership And Management Expert To Speak At California…
August 27, 2014
Daniel Goleman will make presentation at California State University-Fresno. Read More