Education is a key component in advancing sustainable development policies and programs and achieving sustainability across a broad spectrum of issues directly related to economic security, quality of life, and environmental stability.
One of the USDA Council on Sustainable Development's implementation priorities is to target information and education to consumers, farmers, ranchers, and woodlot owners through a national network of extension educators. In response, NIFA and the Cooperative Extension System support eXtension, a coordinated, Internet-based information system where customers will have round-the-clock access to trustworthy, balanced views of specialized information and education on a wide range of topics.
The eXtension Web site is organized into Communities of Practice (COP). Each COP includes articles, news, events, and frequently asked questions. The information comes from Land-Grant University System faculty and staff experts. It is based on unbiased research and undergoes peer review prior to publication. eXtension helps build networks and effectively delivers information and education about sustainability and other topics down to the county level, including decision-support tools and certification programs. The vision is an educated and informed public, including young people, that is willing adopt new practices and apply appropriate technology that meets present economic, environmental, and social needs without compromising resources for future generations.
More information about eXtension, along with descriptions of current COPs is available online.