With a presence in all 77 counties, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers programs that relate to all aspects of life, from financial management and nutrition to youth development and agriculture. The purpose of these programs is to enhance the lives of all Oklahomans. Extension programs are free or low cost through county Extension offices via workshops, demonstrations, conferences, webinars, 4-H Clubs, and research-based fact sheets as well as thousands of one-on-one consultations with County Extension Educators (Agents).
Land-grant Universities, such as Oklahoma State University, have three basic missions; teaching, research, and Extension. The teaching mission was created by the Morrill Act of 1862. The research mission was created by the Hatch Act of 1887. The Extension mission was created by the Smith-Lever Act in 1914. The three sides of the triangle seen in the logo above symbolically represent these three missions.
The Smith-Lever Act created a unique partnership between county, state, and federal government to provide funding through land-grant universities to “take the university to the people.” Program areas conducted by Extension include: Agriculture and Natural Resources; 4-H Youth Development; Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS); and Community Development.
Extension is a reliable source of research-based information on topics ranging from managing your money to keeping up with the latest agricultural technology and markets to identifying that plant or insect in your yard. By “Extending Knowledge” developed by university research, Extension strives to “Change Lives” for the better.
- Priority 1: Endowments to support the salary and/or operating expenses of an Extension Office.
- Priority 2: “Innovation Funds” to support grants to Educators and faculty to develop new Extension programing and demonstrations.
- Priority 3: Funding for expansion and improvements to the Botanic Garden and the associated TV program “Oklahoma Gardening.”
- Priority 4: Funding to support the operating costs of existing programs in agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences (FCS), and community development. For examples of programs, please see the list below.
- Priority 5: Support for the professional development of educators: Examples of professional development activities include: a) obtaining advanced degrees; b) leadership training; c) attending professional meetings; and d) operation of state-level professional associations for Agriculture, 4-H Youth Development, and FCS Educators; and e) exchange trips with other states and countries.
For a list of many other programs, follow the links below:
Meet the Director
Dr. Thomas Coon
Dr. Thomas Coon is Vice President and Dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Coon received his B.A., Biology from Luther College, a M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from University of California-Davis. Dr. Coon joined OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in July 2014.
”One of the great privileges that comes with the position is the opportunity to interact with individuals, groups and organizations across the state, and through that interaction gain real-world insights about how we, as stewards of the land-grant mission, can help Oklahomans improve the quality of life for themselves, their families and their communities.”
Thomas Coon, DASNR Vice President, Dean and Director
Prior to joining the administration at OSU, he held the position of Director for cooperative extension at Michigan State University for nine years. At OSU he serves as director of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
To learn more about giving opportunities related to Extension at OSU, contact Heidi Griswold.