Harder, A., Narine, L. K., & Wells, O. (2019). Organizational priorities for advancing cooperative extension in selected urban counties in Florida. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(1), 96-108. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2019.01096
Determining strategies for success within the urban environment is necessary for Cooperative Extension to accomplish its mission, particularly given the large percentage of Americans who now reside in or near cities. Three levels of needs exist within a system such as Extension: primary user, service provider, and system resources. A needs assessment was conducted in 2017 to assess the system resources of UF/IFAS Extension in the counties of one of Florida’s four metropolitan areas, as perceived by the county faculty and staff working there. Counties tended to agree that the highest priority needs were to establish guidelines for reporting collective impact efforts in their annual appraisals, and ensuring agents have equal benefits regardless of the county in which they work. A strong emphasis was also placed on making urban Extension visible to stakeholders in the metropolitan environment. UF/IFAS Extension will need to acquire new resources or reallocate existing resources to better equip its agents to be successful serving urban clientele, which may require adopting new funding models to ensure the future viability of the organization.