National Sustainability – Focused Extension Programs

Would you like to add your sustainability-focused Extension program to this list? You can do so here.


Program:University of Arizona Compost CatsLogo
Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Land, Food, Energy
Range: Regional
Description: Compost Cats is a student run program that began in January 2011 and has converted over 10,000,000 lbs of food and green waste into valuable soil amendments for landscapes and gardens. In addition to waste from the University of Arizona, we gather waste from a growing list of local businesses as well. We have recently partnered with the City of Tucson, which performs waste hauling.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, certification



Program: Externships in Community Sustainability
Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Food, Water
Range: Arizona statewide
Description: University students are paired with Extension faculty throughout the state to work on summer-long projects that improve community resiliency, such as community garden and farmers market start-ups, integrated pest management research, and rainwater harvesting to note a few.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings


Program: The Kitchen GardenWalking_April_2015_2
Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Food
Range: Pima county-wide
Description: The Garden Kitchen is a seed-to-table nutrition education program which aims to engage low-income community members in healthy eating, gardening, and active living education. We work with our community to improve the food environment by educating on every step of bringing a healthy meal to the table. We value respect, equity, and sustainability in all of our programs.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, direct community education.


Program: Monitoring Arizona RangelandsRobel
Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Land, Food
Range: Arizona statewide
Description: Rangeland monitoring has become an essential component of ranching today. In Arizona, most ranches depend to some extent on Federal and/or state lands to augment private land grazing. Together with Arizona Cooperative Extension, many Arizona ranchers have decided to collect range monitoring data and keep their own records on vegetation conditions and trends. Our educational and applied research program provides training and technical support for ranchers and other range managers interested in developing and applying rangeland monitoring throughout Arizona.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, information

Program: Climate Science Applications Program

Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Air Quality/ Climate Change, Food, Water
Range: Arizona statewide
Description: CSAP is a University of Arizona Cooperative Extension program focused on bringing climate science research and applications to the people of the state of Arizona and the 200dpi_logo_v2broader Southwest region including New Mexico, southern California, and northern Mexico. The program works to develop and coordinate outreach activities and applied research between the climate research community at the University of Arizona and a wide group of climate science user groups throughout the Southwest. This includes providing support and working through Cooperative Extension offices throughout Arizona. Partnerships with federal agencies down to individual climate science users are forged to improve the production and delivery of climate information. Research activities within CSAP include new climate product development tailored to specific user group needs and exploration into novel climate data visualization, dissemination, and analysis techniques and tools.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, online tools.


Program: Turfgrass Research, Extension, and EducationIMG_0006_2
Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Land, Air Quality/Climate Change, Water.
Range: Arizona statewide
Description: Turfgrass research is conducted to evaluate and determine appropriate grasses for use in desert landscapes and sports facilities under limited quantities and qualities of water. Practices are evaluated, validated, and new technologies are transferred to professional turf managers and landscapers.
Program Offerings: Face-to-face trainings, website, information, certification.



Program: Arizona’s Changing Rural Landscapes 
Institution: University of Arizonahuachucaswithsnow
Category: Land, Air Quality/Climate Change, Food, Water, Energy
Range: Arizona statewide
Description: Arizona Cooperative Extension’s community and economic development programs help residents, landowners and governments understand changes in the state’s rural areas. The goal is to help citizens define and contribute to the future of their communities, and become better informed, more resilient and sustainable.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information.


Program: Water RAPIDS (Research and Planning Innovations for Dryland Systems)mock-upRAPIDS_other
Institution: University of Arizona
Category: Water
Range: Arizona statewide
Description: The goal of Water RAPIDS (Water Research and Planning Innovations for Dryland Systems) program is to help communities balance a secure water future for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors with the water needs of natural areas.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, certification, assistance to communities and land and water managers in water planning and research on effective mechanism of engagement on water issues.

Program: Smartscape

UA_smartscape_logo_jpeg_CMYKInstitution: University of Arizona

Category: Land, Water
Range: Maricopa and Pima counties
Description: Smartscape is a comprehensive, research‐based, professional training program specifically designed to assist landscape professionals in the design, installation, and maintenance of attractive, water-efficient landscapes that offer a unique sense of place and value to communities.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, certification





Program: Arkansas Local Food Meetups
Institution: University of Arkansas
Category: Food
Range: Regional
Description: The University of Arkansas (UA) Division of Agriculture offers programs and host events that can help support local food systems development in your community. Look around for upcoming events and resources to assist you with increasing local foods in your community.
Our UA Community and Economic Development Unit is participating in a mutli-state partnership sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate state efforts around local food system development to look for opportunities to:
Provide greater resources and technical assistance for local food system development.
Support regional planning and development.
Foster local food and farm business development.

Program Offerings: regional planning and networking meetings


Program: UC California Naturalist ProgramCN_hatpin
Institution: University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Category: Land, Air Quality/Climate Change, Water
Range: California statewide
Description: The UC California Naturalist Program is designed to introduce Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engage the public in study and stewardship of California’s natural communities. Our mission is to foster a diverse community of naturalists and promote stewardship of California’s natural resources through education and service.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, certification



Program: Colorado Building FarmersCBF_2C_Logo_150

Institution: Colorado State University
Category: Food
Range: Colorado statewide
Description: The Colorado Building Farmers program builds farmer capacity and community through classroom and experiential learning for beginning farmers and ranchers (USDA defines as 0 – 10 yrs experience). The classroom program is a series of 8 evening classes designed to help New Farmers and Ranchers explore farming as a business and provide Intermediate and Experienced Farmers and Ranchers with tools and ideas to refine and enhance their business management, production, and marketing skills. The experiential learning program provides engaged mentorships and internships to beginning farmers and ranchers from experienced farmers and ranchers.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, certification


Program: Small Acreage Management ProgramNew Small acreage Logo final
Institution: Colorado State University
Category: Land, Food, Water
Range: Colorado statewide
Description: The Colorado Small Acreage Program is a partnership initiative with CSU Extension and USDA-NRCS. Small acreage landowners (owning 2-100 acres) can learn information concerning managing their land in Colorado. Assistance such as how to reseed pastures, grazing management, weed identification and control, manure management, and irrigation of crops is available on the website. The website contains recorded webinars, short videos, archived newsletter articles, and other educational material on many topics to help new landowners.  The regional small acreage coordinators also offer workshops, field visits, and one-on-one consultation to help landowners solve their small acreage questions.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information

Program: Colorado Master Land Steward ProgramNew Small acreage Logo final
Institution: Colorado State University Extension and USDA-NRCS
Category: Land, Water
Range: Colorado statewide
Description: CSU Extension, the USDA-NRCS, and our partners want to collectively help landowners make informed management decisions that will protect the resources on private lands. Therefore, the program will train interested residents and landowners to become knowledgeable and skilled land stewards. The lessons learned in this short course will help you reduce input costs and at the same time improve the quality of life we work so hard to maintain!
This course will give private landowners the tools necessary to implement cost effective management activities on the land. Utilizing local know-how and research-based information, participants will leave the course with their own customized management plan to put into place on their own property.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, information, certification


Program: Sustainable Floridians
Institution: University of Florida – Brevard County Extension
Category: Air, Energy, Food, Water
Range: Florida, Brevard County
Description: Learn how to reduce your footprint, increase your handprint, and make connections for a better Brevard County! The mission of the Sustainable Floridians Program is to guide Floridians on how to take individual responsibility for protecting Earth’s limited resources. Through a discussion-to-action format, the program educates participants about making wise use of resources, making households and communities more resilient and financially sound, and understanding the impact of individual lifestyle choices.

Program Offerings: certificates, face-to-face trainings, fact sheets, resource website


Program: Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute 
Institution: University of Florida
Category: Air, Energy, Land, Water, Food
Range: Florida
Description: We are all dependent on Florida¹s natural resources. Decisions about natural resources involve complex sets of issues and stakeholders. Expensive and time consuming disputes often emerge over issues such as endangered species, land use, coastal and marine resources, and water quality and quantity. Effective leadership in managing such issues requires a specialized set of skills, tools, and strategies to build trust and promote collaboration among competing interests. In recognition of this, the Florida Natural Resources. Leadership Institute (NRLI) was founded in 1998 to bring together professionals in sectors that impact or are impacted by natural resource issues to develop the skills required to work towards collaborative solutions.

NRLI seeks to impact decision-making in Florida by creating a network of professionals prepared to effectively address natural resource issues through conflict management and collaborative leadership. NRLI is an eight month professional development program. Each intensive three-day session is held in a different part of the state andfocuses on a specific and contentious natural resource issue. Sessions include: immersion in the issue/topic through first-hand experience with the resource; engagement with stakeholders from diverse institutions/organizations and perspectives; and experiential training in skills, concepts, tools, and strategies related to collaborative decision making, conflict management, communication, and negotiation.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website



Program: LaHouse Resource Center, Sustainable Housing
Institution: Louisiana State University
Category: Air, Energy, Land, Water
Range: Regional (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas)
Description: LaHouse Resource Center is a sustainable housing demonstration, attraction and Extension outreach program of LSU AgCenter. It teaches building science applications that integrate resource-efficiency, durability and health, because “As we shape our homes, we shape our future”.
Program Offerings: certificates, face-to-face trainings, fact sheets, resource website



Program: Clean Sheet and Goats
Institution: University of Maine
Category: Food
Range: Regional (Main, New Hampshire, Vermont)
Description: Sustainable livestock production requires well-informed farmers. This Extension program uses ongoing SARE and USDA funded small ruminant health screening programs to create and disseminate information about detecting and avoiding common diseases using best management practices and biosecurity. Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic/anthelmintic use saves money, conserves resources, avoids development of resistant parasites/bacteria and simplifies farm management.  This program aims to create informed livestock producers who can market their livestock as “clean” of CL and other common sheep/goat pathogens.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, fact sheets, resource website


New York

Program:  The Consumer Education Program for Residential Energy Efficiency
Institution: Cornell University
Category: Energy
Range: New York
Description: Rising energy prices resulting from global increases in energy demand highlight the importance of energy efficiency. The Consumer Education Program for Residential Energy Efficiency is an educational effort conducted in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, fact sheets, resource website


Dry Farming CollaborativeDry_Farming_Project_Photo
Institution: Oregon State University
Category: Food, Water
Range: Regionl
Description: The Dry Farming Collaborative is a group of growers, extension educators, plant breeders, and agricultural professionals partnering to increase knowledge and awareness of dry farming management practices with a hands-on participatory approach. So far there are about 20 sites throughout Western Oregon that are hosting dry farming trials including three OSU sites. We are demonstrating how to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables without irrigation in the maritime Pacific Northwest and engaging interested growers in participatory research. Together we are co-creating the future of how we manage water on our farms, with dry farming management practices being one approach for our drought mitigation toolbox. Other approaches and topics related to water conservation farming are being addressed in the ‘Growing Resilience: Water Management Workshop Series’.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, website, information, participatory research and demonstration



Program: USU Extension Sustainability
Institution: Utah State University
Category: Air, Energy, Food, Land, Water
Range: Utah
Description: Extension Sustainability provides credible information and trainings fostering increased awareness and behavioral change to improve environmental, social, and economic conditions.
Program Offerings: certificates, face-to-face trainings, factsheets, resource website


Program: Utah Farm-Chef-Fork
Institution: Utah State University
Category: Food
Range: Utah
Description: Utah Farm-Chef-Fork is a USDA Specialty Crop funded program that is a collaboration between the USDA, Utah State University Extension, and Slow Food Utah. The goal is to enhance the community vitality and reduce food miles by connecting Utah producers and restaurants.
Program Offerings: certificates, face-to-face trainings, resource website


Program: Water Check Program 
Institution: Utah State University
Category: Water
Range: Utah
Description: Onsite evaluation of landscape irrigation systems for homeowners and managers of commercial and institutional landscapes.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings


Program: Center for Water Efficient Landscaping
Institution: Utah State University
Category: Water
Range: Regional (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah)
Description: The Center for Water Efficient Landscaping (CWEL) is a research and outreach center designed to improve efficient use of water for landscape irrigation. The mission of CWEL is to promote water conservation through environmentally, socially, and economically sound landscape management practices.
Program Offerings: face-to-face trainings, factsheets, website



Program: Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) program
Institution: Utah State University
Category: Land, Air, Food, Water, Energy
Range: Regional SARE_Western_CMYK
Description: The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants and education program advances—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education.  The SARE program is administered through four regions.  For information on Western SARE program and the grant programs offered, go to:
Program Offerings: Grants program