The Future for Cooperative Extension and What it Means for Military Families

Under the Health and Science section of the Washington post is where you can find an article about the future of the Cooperative Extension system titled Cooperative Extension adapts to a less agricultural America.

Upon reading it, a statement stood out:

I sense the need for Cooperative Extension is stronger than ever,” says Thompson, who previously chaired the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.”

Why is this statement and the future of Cooperative Extension system important to Military Families? There is reassurance that the Cooperative Extension system has been successful in the past (and will continue to be) a force multiplier in Military Family Readiness and Capacity Building based off history.

In 2014, the Cooperative Extension system reached a milestone when celebrating their 100 year anniversary. The centennial was reassurance that  the organization’s mission areas were meeting the needs of communities and military families nationwide.

Cooperative Extension Involvement in Military Programs

There are many levels of involvement by the Cooperative Extension Service when it comes to their educational programming, both on and off military installations:

  • Local Community Programs
  • Consultation
  • Sharing Resource Materials
  • Delivering Special Programs
  • Opportunities for Collaboration

Initial collaboration between the military and Cooperative Extension began when the Navy Family Support Program Branch formalized family service programs in the Navy. “Cooperative efforts between the Navy and the Extension Service were critical to establishing effective family programs. By working with Extension, the Navy could quickly and efficiently reach out and address the needs of families. Building on this initial success, numerous military/Extension collaborations have developed.” (A Guide to Cooperative Extension System and Military Collaboration in Family Support)

The Future

The Cooperative Extension system will continue to make every effort to better leverage itself as a force multiplier in Military Family Readiness and Capacity Building.

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