Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Our Outreach & Extension Impact

In a public lecture he delivered at Cornell in January 1893, Dean Liberty Hyde Bailey shared his view of the place of extension in the mission of Land-Grant institutions saying, "I should like to see the principle officially recognized that the office of universities is primarily a mission to the people ..."

Today, extension is not just a one-way street for research to get to citizens, but rather a vibrant two-way interaction where community needs are identified and appropriate research and outreach responses take place.

This is public engagement. This is educational democracy in action.

Extension Firsts

Mortier Franklin Barrus (B.S. 1911, Ph.D. 1914) was the first official extension plant pathologist in the U.S.

Birth of Home Economics at Cornell

In 1900, Martha Van Rensselaer began a program of extension work with farm women.

Extension Firsts

John Craig was the first professor of extension teaching in agriculture in the U.S.

Addressing Ag Workforce Challenges

The Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development program helps farm and agribusiness managers build effective employee teams by applying the best human resource management practices for the agricultural setting.

Farming in the Big Apple

Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City (CUCE-NYC) sows innovative urban agriculture projects in New York City schools, senior centers and public housing facilities. 

Bringing Nature Home

In 1893, Cornell received state funds to teach nature study in New York’s rural schools. Anna Botsford Comstock ran the program that produced the groundbreaking Home Nature-Study Course. 

The Early Days of Extension

An early Extension meeting 1913

Ag and homemaking correspondence courses began in 1897.

Cornell's first extension car 1913

Cornell's first "extension car" in 1913. Second from left: Martha Van Renssalaer.

A Cornell Cooperative Extension Train from 1946

The Cornell Cooperative Extension train in 1946 boasted "eight cars of ideas!"