What is the Role of a Country’s Universities in Pluralistic Rural Advisory Services?

This year’s Centennial Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (CES) highlights the important outreach and service function that the CES continues to provide through the auspices of U.S. Land Grant Universities.  With the growing interest in extension around the world – and in keeping with the Centennial Celebration - USDA/NIFA and GFRAS will offer a webinar to explore the future and potential role of a country’s higher education institution(s) in providing extension/advisory services.   Highlights from the webinar will help policy makers, government and non-government organizations, university leaders, donors, and agricultural service providers as they work to strengthen extension/outreach services in the U.S. and around the world. 

Hosted by:

  • United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 
  • The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS)

Please let us know at your earliest convenience if you plan to join the webinar by sending an email to CIP@NIFA.USDA.GOV

Participants joining the webinar should enter as Guests from the webinar link and will hear the audio through their computer (VOIP).  


  • Kristin Davis, GFRAS, South Africa (moderator)
  • Renee Pardello, Assistant Dean, University of Minnesota Extension, USA (speaker)
  • Michael McGirr, National Institute of Food Agriculture, USDA, USA (speaker)
  • Fernando Manzo-Ramos, Colegio de Postgraduados, Mexico (speaker)
  • Tom Kelly, Teagasc, Ireland (speaker)
  • Gary Alex, USAID, USA (discussant)

Key Questions:

  • What is the unique and critical role that your country’s universities can play in providing extension advisory services?
  • How can your universities contribute to the sustainability of extension advisory services?
  • What are the key challenges may face university-linked extension services in your country?  How can they be overcome? What are the opportunities?   


The webinar will consist of three 30-minute segments:  Views from the U.S.; Reflections from Other Countries, and Open Discussion.  

Presenters from the US will offer:

  • A brief review of the U.S. Land Grant University model.
  • An overview of the U.S. CES, and its role in U.S. agricultural development.
  • A scan of the US CES’s history of working overseas.
  • A description of challenges that the U.S. CES has encountered when introducing a university-based model overseas.
  • An update on recent interest in university-led extension in other countries. 

Presenters from Other Countries will reflect on:

  • The relevance of university-led extension advisory services in their country.
  • How they might advise their Ministers of Agriculture and Education on linking universities and extension.  

Discussion of the presenters’ remarks will be kicked off by Gary Alex of USAID.  Additional comments from other web participants will be made through a Chat Feature. 

The Webinar and Chat will be recorded for play back by those who are unable to participate during the live session.  




Renee Pardello, Michael McGirr, Greg Crosby, Hiram Larew

Created by Ashley Griffin

Primary Audience: Not Set