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Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

What we do

Group of 4-H'ers in grassy field in fall

Building a stronger Minnesota together

Extension plays a key role in the University of Minnesota's mission: We bring Minnesotans together to build a better future through University science-based knowledge, expertise and training.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Extension has made a difference in rural, suburban, urban and tribal communities.

More than 1 million people are reached annually by Extension education.

University of Minnesota Extension mission

Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota.

Photo collage in the shape of Minnesota showing a farmer with fresh vegetables, a teen fishing, an educator talking with a community member and a boy with his pig

Connecting every county with the University of Minnesota

  • Extension is in every county. Regional offices are strategically located across the state.
  • 65 percent of Extension faculty and staff work in Greater Minnesota
  • Over 35,000 trained volunteers multiply our reach

Extension's priorities

4-H clover logo

Preparing young people to lead through Minnesota 4-H

4-H kept young people engaged during COVID-19 through 800 clubs meeting safely, 400+ virtual programs, 11,000 educational kits and 89 local showcase events.

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Strengthening Minnesota's food and agriculture

Extension research and education improves crop yields, animal health, farm productivity and water conservation across Minnesota's 68,500 farms.

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Teaching responsible lawn and garden practices through a 2,400-strong Master Gardener volunteer force

Applications for the Master Gardener volunteer program rose by 160% in 2020.

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Creating healthier families for 150,520 people through SNAP-Ed

3,572 Minnesotans learned how to create a two-week grocery and meal plan to prepare for possible quarantine for exposure to COVID-19. The plan was made flexible for food shelf clients.


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Protecting natural resources, including soil, water and woodlands

Last year, more than 2,000 Minnesota Master Naturalists and community science volunteers found and reported invasive species, restored public lands, and collected scientific data for researchers.

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Understanding what makes communities welcoming, economically vibrant and well-led

100+ economic analyses inform local community decisions each year and 25 communities run Extension learning groups.

2021 budget

Extension, federal, state and county funding

Pie chart showing what percentages of Extension's 2021 budget are from federal, county, state, and gift and grant sources, as described in "2021 budget"

Grants, gifts and other: $19.9 million (25.8%)

Individuals and organizations provide support for valuable Extension opportunities important to them.

Counties: $17.6 million (22.8%)

Investments ensure 4-H and other Extension programs are delivered locally.

Federal: $10.6 million (13.8%)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports wide-ranging research and Extension education

State: $29 million (37.6%)

Investments are leveraged through collaborations with Minnesota state agencies, including the departments of agriculture, health, human services, natural resources and tourism.

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