Agricultural Information Bulletin No. (AIB-781) 11 pp

April 2003

Regional Trends in Extension System Resources

In 1914, when the Cooperative Extension Service was founded, about 30 percent of U.S. workers were in agriculture-related occupations; by the late 1990s, that share had declined to about 1 percent. The Extension System ("Extension") has changed along with its audience. The number of full-time-equivalent Extension personnel dropped by 12 percent from 1977 to 1997. Regional personnel FTE allocation patterns were mostly similar to the national ones, with the largest declines found in community resource development and 4-H youth programs. Staff years dedicated to agriculture and natural resources increased modestly, as did staff years dedicated to home economics and nutrition.

Keywords: cooperative extension service, full time equivalent, FTE, agricultural productivity, Smith-Lever Act of 1914, research and development, land-grant universities

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