State Administrators' Perspectives on Environmental Factors Facing Cooperative Extension



cooperative extension, Organizational change, Environmental factors, Leadership


Cooperative Extension is a complex organization with a mission to deliver research from the Land-Grant University to all U.S. communities. To inform the direction for organization adaptation, this qualitative study investigated Extension administrator perspectives of the environmental factor changes facing the organization. Findings reveal that Extension needs to respond to shifts in funding and clientele demographics. Organizational adaptation can cause long-term stakeholders to fear loss and act against the organization. Administrators must be responsive to traditional stakeholder concerns and build a shared understanding of the mission to reduce shifting focus friction and facilitate the organization adaptation necessary for survival.


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Author Biographies

Jeremy Elliott-Engel, University of Hawaii Manoa

Associate Dean and Associate Director for Cooperative Extension
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Donna Westfall-Rudd, Virginia Tech

Associate Professor & Undergraduate Director Department of Agricultural, Leadership & Community Education

Eric Kaufman, Virginia Tech

Professor and Associate Department Head

Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education

Megan Seibel, Virginia Tech

Extension Specialist, Director of of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) program, and Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Cooperative Problem Solving

Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education

Rama Radhakrishna, Purdue University

Professor and Department Head

Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communications




How to Cite

Elliott-Engel, J., Westfall-Rudd, D., Kaufman, E., Seibel, M., & Radhakrishna, R. (2024). State Administrators’ Perspectives on Environmental Factors Facing Cooperative Extension . Journal of Agricultural Education, 65(2), 322–345. Retrieved from



Journal of Agricultural Education