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How Extension Works

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NC State Extension extends research-based knowledge to all North Carolinians, helping them transform science into everyday solutions that improve their lives and grow our state.


We are the trusted, go-to resource for connecting research and education to the communities, economies and families of our state, creating prosperity for all North Carolinians.

Cycle of Solutions

Extension serves as a bridge between North Carolinians and our state’s preeminent research university. With 101 local centers, more than 1,100 experts and a vast network of partnerships, Extension puts science into action, delivering practical solutions to local issues across the state.

    Extension experts in every county engage with farmers, businesses and families to determine local needs
    County agents collaborate with campus specialists, applying science and technology to better understand and address timely issues
    Extension delivers research-based tools and solutions back to communities, translating knowledge into everyday applications

Core Focus Areas

Agriculture and Food

Extension keeps North Carolina’s $100+ billion agriculture industry growing and sustainable by connecting producers with research-based information and technology they need.

Health and Nutrition

Extension helps people make healthier decisions, reduce their risk of chronic disease and live better lives through a wealth of programs from nutrition to local foods to food safety.

4-H Youth Development

Extension’s 4-H programs address the diverse issues of today’s youth, helping hundreds of thousands of youth grow into healthier, more involved generations of future leaders.

101 Local Centers

NC State Extension has locally-focused services in every North Carolina county and the Eastern Band of Cherokee

Partnership for the People

North Carolina is home to two land-grant institutions – NC State University and N.C. A&T State University. Land-grant universities have a unique and important obligation to serve our state through Extension. It’s what sets us apart from other universities.

Each school coordinates Extension programs that work in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), state and local governments, and industry and community partners. This strategic partnership is called N.C. Cooperative Extension. Together we enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolinians.

Extension and Program Grants
Smith-Lever Act

National Focus on Local Issues

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is a cornerstone of Extension. Their financial and programmatic support help strengthen Extension efforts to identify emerging research questions and to apply science and technology to improve the nation’s agricultural, economic, and social well-being.

Land-Grants Lead the Way

Since the passage of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, land-grant universities have worked toward a common mission to extend knowledge to the public. NC State and N.C. A&T ensure that research discoveries are delivered from the campus to the community.

NC State
N.C. A&T
Extension Offices
Local Government

Serving All N.C. Citizens

Extension has offices in every county of North Carolina and the Eastern Band of Cherokee. The staff and volunteers work with local government to support agriculture, horticulture, conservation and environmental protection, nutrition and health, as well as a variety of consumer, youth, and economic concerns.