University of Idaho Extension

The Cooperative Extension System was established by the Smith-Lever Act, signed May 8, 1914, to help extend research to the people of the United States in order to improve their farms, families, and communities. The Idaho legislature approved the Cooperative Extension concept in 1915. In 1917, additional state legislation brought the county boards of commissioners into the cooperative three-way federal, state, and county partnership.

The Extension System is an integral part of the University of Idaho and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and is administratively coordinated with the teaching and research functions of the college. The extension function is organized to extend the knowledge created through research to the people of the state of Idaho so that they can apply the findings to their particular situations, thereby solving their problems and improving their quality of life.

The headquarters of the University of Idaho Extension is in Moscow. District offices are located at Caldwell, Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Falls. The state is the campus for University of Idaho Extension.

Educators live and work in the areas to which they are assigned by mutual agreement of the university and the counties involved. Agricultural, family and consumer sciences, and youth educators are located in 42 of Idaho's 44 counties and are also involved in multi-county programming.

Supporting the county faculty are state Extension specialists located at Idaho Falls, Parma, Caldwell, Aberdeen, Coeur d’Alene, Boise, Twin Falls, Moscow, and Kimberly. These specialists keep up to date by conducting relevant research and through cooperation with research scientists of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Extension educational programs are conducted in five broad areas. These are: (1) Food, food production, and food systems; (2) Health and wellness; (3) Natural resources and the environment; (4) Community development;and (5) Family well-being and 4-H youth development. Programs are both disciplinary and interdisciplinary and are designed to address the issues facing Idahoans. Major programming issues include water quality, youth at risk, waste management, food security, obesity, community vitality, agricultural sustainability, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).

The University of Idaho Extension helps people improve the social, economic, and environmental qualities of their lives through research-based education and leadership development focused on issues and needs. To accomplish this mission, University of Idaho Extension works under the basic philosophy that programs planned with people will achieve greater success than programs planned for them. Extension takes the resources and research of the land-grant university out into the state so that Idaho's citizens can benefit from their university.