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Nebraska extension drives statewide growth and innovation

Nebraska extension drives statewide growth and innovation

By Scout Nelson

Nebraska Extension, a crucial part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, connects resources with 93 counties through programs like agricultural resilience and early childhood development. With 110 years of service, it enhances local expertise and drives economic growth, returning three times every dollar invested.

Charles Stoltenow, dean and director of Nebraska Extension, emphasized their role in shaping a better future for Nebraskans. The Extension's efforts align with the Big 3 Strategic Directions: strengthening agriculture and food systems, inspiring communities, and enhancing overall health and well-being.

These initiatives are informed by five key themes identified through stakeholder engagements: workforce development, health enhancement, economic vitality, youth retention and attraction, and leveraging state strengths.

Success stories under these themes are numerous. For example, the eCommunities program has notably increased revenues for local businesses, while agricultural advancements through the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network and precision agriculture initiatives continue to optimize resource use and increase profitability for farmers.

Youth development is another cornerstone, with programs like 4-H reaching one in every three Nebraska children, fostering confidence and civic engagement. The Next Chapter program further prepares high school students for post-graduation success.

In the health sector, initiatives like the Master Gardener program and the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center have made significant contributions. The former has generated and donated tens of thousands of pounds of produce, while the latter has facilitated the development of grocery co-ops, enhancing food security and community sustainability.

The Nebraska Extension remains committed to its foundational mission: to help Nebraska thrive by connecting community needs with university resources, fostering a co-creative process for statewide advancement.

Photo Credit -nebraska-extenstion

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Categories: Nebraska, General

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