The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), part of the executive branch of the federal government. The 1994 Department Reorganization Act, passed by Congress, created CSREES by combining the former Cooperative State Research Service and the Extension Service into a single agency.
CSREES' mission is to "advance agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities" by supporting research, education, and extension programs at land-grant universities and other organizations it partners with. CSREES doesn't conduct its own research; it provides funding and leadership to land-grant universities and competitively granted awards to researchers in partner organizations. CSREES' areas of involvement span across 60 programs in the biological, physical, and social sciences related to agricultural research, economic analysis, statistics, extension, and higher education.
CSREES administers federal appropriations through three funding tools: competitive grants, formula grants, and congressionally directed funding.
Competitive grants are awarded to applicants upon the recommendation of a peer-review panel. CSREES' competitive programs include the National Research Initiative, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Program, and Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.
CSREES supports research and extension activities at land-grant institutions through federal funds that are appropriated to states on the basis of statutory, population-based formulas. CSREES' formula grants are directed to state experiment stations, the Cooperative Extension System, and Cooperative Forestry Programs. In most cases, the states are required to match the federal formula dollars with nonfederal contributions. The four CSREES research funding programs for land-grant universities are (1) Hatch, (2) Multistate Research (a subset of Hatch), (3) McIntire-Stennis, and (4) Animal Health.
Congress directs CSREES to fund and administer certain programs each year through special appropriations accounts. In general, the Executive Branch does not support the inclusion of these programs in the president's annual budget submission to Congress. Examples of projects include: the Expert Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Decision Support System; Global Change, UV-B Monitoring; IPM and Biological Control; Minor Crop Pest Management, IR-4; and Minor Use Animal Drugs.
CSREES is the USDA's extramural research agency, funding individuals; institutions; and public, private, and non-profit organizations. Its research programs address issues affecting 13 national emphasis areas:
Supported research falls into three categories:
Education programs support all CSREES emphasis areas and promote teaching excellence, enhance academic quality, and help develop the scientific and professional workforce. CSREES continues a federal-state teaching partnership started in 1977 by strengthening agricultural and science literacy in K-12 education, improving higher education curricula, and increasing the diversity and quality of future graduates to enter the workforce.
In 1981, Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) was established to promote agricultural literacy in classrooms across the country. Today, AITC provides lesson plans, professional development opportunities, and teacher recognition programs for teachers, as well as maintains a national resource directory and other sources of public information on K-12 agricultural education issues.
The Cooperative Extension System is a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant universities. In most states, the educational offerings are in the areas of agriculture and food, home and family, environment, community economic development, and youth and 4-H. The National 4-H Headquarters is located within the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition unit of CSREES.
The Smith-Lever Act, which was passed in 1914, established the partnership between agricultural colleges and the USDA to support agricultural extension work. The act also stated that USDA provide each state with funds based on a population-related formula. Today, CSREES distributes these so-called formula grants annually in cooperation with state and county governments and land-grant universities.
Traditionally, each county of all 50 states had a local extension office. This number has declined as some county offices have consolidated into regional extension centers. Today, there are approximately 2,900 extension offices nationwide.
Since 2005, the Extension system has collaborated in developing eXtension.org (pronounced "e-extension"). eXtension is an Internet-based learning platform where Extension professionals and citizens nationwide and beyond have 24/7 access to unbiased, research-based, peer-reviewed information from land-grant universities on a wide range of topics. Information is organized into articles, professional development resources, news, frequently asked questions, and blog posts that provide a knowledge-to-action service that has become an integral part of the Cooperative Extension System. In 2015, the nonprofit, member-based eXtension Foundation was created to advance innovation and technology-enhanced professional development going forward.
This table summarizes the cooperative extension programs in each state. (Under the 1890 amendment to the Morrill Act, if a state's land-grant university was not open to all races, a separate land-grant university had to be established for each race. Hence, some states have more than one land-grant university.)
|Alabama||Alabama A&M University
|Alabama Cooperative Extension System|
|Alaska||University of Alaska||University of Alaska Cooperative Extension|
|Arizona||University of Arizona||Arizona Cooperative Extension|
|Arkansas||University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
|University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service|
|California||University of California||University of California Cooperative Extension|
|Colorado||Colorado State University||Colorado State Cooperative Extension|
|Connecticut||University of Connecticut||Cooperative Extension System|
|Delaware||University of Delaware
Delaware State University
|Delaware Cooperative Extension
DSU Cooperative Extension
|District of Columbia||University of the District of Columbia||University of the District of Columbia Cooperative Extension Service|
|Florida||University of Florida
Florida A&M University
|University of Florida IFAS Extension|
|Georgia||University of Georgia
Fort Valley State University
|University of Georgia Cooperative Extension|
|Hawaii||University of Hawaii||University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service|
|Idaho||University of Idaho||University of Idaho Extension|
|Illinois||University of Illinois||University of Illinois Extension|
|Indiana||Purdue University||Purdue University Extension|
|Iowa||Iowa State University||Iowa State University Extension|
|Kansas||Kansas State University||Kansas State University Research & Extension|
|Kentucky||University of Kentucky||University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service|
|Louisiana||Louisiana State University
Southern University and A&M College
|Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service|
|Maine||University of Maine||University of Maine Extension|
|Maryland||University of Maryland
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
|Maryland Cooperative Extension|
|Massachusetts||University of Massachusetts Amherst||University of Massachusetts Extension|
|Michigan||Michigan State University||Michigan State University Extension|
|Minnesota||University of Minnesota||University of Minnesota Extension|
|Mississippi||Mississippi State University
Alcorn State University
|Mississippi State University Extension|
|Missouri||University of Missouri
|University of Missouri Extension|
|Montana||Montana State University||Montana State University Extension Service|
|Nebraska||University of Nebraska||University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension|
|Nevada||University of Nevada||University of Nevada Cooperative Extension|
|New Hampshire||University of New Hampshire||University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension|
|New Jersey||Rutgers University||Rutgers Cooperative Extension|
|New Mexico||New Mexico State University||New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service|
|New York||Cornell University||Cornell Cooperative Extension|
|North Carolina||North Carolina State University
North Carolina A&T State University
|North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
North Carolina A&T State University Cooperative Extension Program
|North Dakota||North Dakota State University||North Dakota State University Extension Service|
|Ohio||Ohio State University||The Ohio State University Extension|
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma State University||Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service|
|Oregon||Oregon State University||Oregon State University Extension Service|
|Pennsylvania||Penn State||Penn State Cooperative Extension|
|Rhode Island||University of Rhode Island||University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension|
|South Carolina||Clemson University
South Carolina State University
|Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service|
|South Dakota||South Dakota State University||South Dakota State University Extension|
|Tennessee||University of Tennessee
Tennessee State University
|University of Tennessee Extension
Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Program
|Texas||Texas A&M University
Prairie View A&M University
|Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service|
|Utah||Utah State University||Utah State University Extension|
|Vermont||University of Vermont||University of Vermont Extension System|
Virginia State University
|Virginia Cooperative Extension|
|Washington||Washington State University||Washington State University Extension|
|West Virginia||West Virginia University||West Virginia University Extension Service|
|Wisconsin||University of Wisconsin-Extension||University of Wisconsin Extension|
|Wyoming||University of Wyoming||University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service|