County Extensions: How Outreach and Education Lay the Foundation for Meaningful Community Engagement

The History of Cooperative Extension

In the United States, almost every county is home to an Extension office that serves as an essential resource to stakeholders that include farmers, businesses owners, families, and youth.  

Cooperative extension serves an essential community role in offering research-based information, training, and education on a variety of topics including agriculture, food safety, and energy conservation.

The origins of “cooperative extension” date back to the 1800s in American history and represent an enduring and effective example of successful community outreach and education.


How Extension Offices Benefit from the PublicInput Platform

Not unlike a typical local government, an Extension Office offers services tailored to each county area by employing tactics that help them reach, educate, and inform community members on a wide array of topics and issues.  Here are just a few examples of how an Extension Office can use the PublicInput platform to increase the effectiveness of service delivery.  


Public Information and Microsites



As the local area content expert, Extension Offices also serve as a home for Master Gardener volunteers and other horticulture professionals offering services to the community related to plant identification. 

Extension offices can post, share, and offer online and downloadable factsheets and educational materials via PublicInput microsites. These materials can help support efforts to educate and serve the community.


The microsites are also the perfect location for Extension Offices to increase community member awareness about available resources and opportunities like Q&A hotlines, public events, workshops, and clinics. 


Microsites do more than just offer information. They can also serve as a place for both targeted communication and interactions with the public. Community members can submit and share questions and concerns, and even use image files to help the Extension Office identify and manage plant and pest disease.   

Community Relationship Management 

Whether it is manning an information booth or hosting educational events like webinars, workshops, or plant clinics, the Extension Offices have a lot on their plate when it comes to community relationship management.  

PublicInput makes events communication and events easy with integrated community data (community member contacts) and outreach/engagement initiatives (your events). 

Want to learn more about how your Extension Office can benefit from an integrated system of outreach, education, and engagement?

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