Cooperative Extension System
A Nationwide Network
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is part of the Cooperative Extension System, a publicly funded educational network. This network is composed of the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 74 land-grant institutions, and 3,150 counties.
Nationwide, Extension includes 32,000 employees and 2.8 million volunteers. This partnership of federal, state and local governments was authorized to bring educational resources from universities to local communities by the passage of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. Funding for Extension programs is provided through the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 and subsequent amendments, state appropriations, county support, and outside grants and contracts.