Follow any road in Tennessee and you'll find people whose lives have been influenced by Extension's educational programs. Extension agents live and work in every county in the state. They help people solve problems and lead richer, fuller lives. Agents are the two-way link between Tennesseans, both urban and rural, and university specialists, scientists and researchers.
Education is Extension's goal. Approximately 16,000 professional Extension agents, employed in counties across America, are teaching citizens how to have better homes, farms and communities. Four hundred of these agents live and work in Tennessee, where they initiate, create and conduct educational programs for people who want to help themselves to an improved quality of life.
Each county office of The University of Tennessee Extension is staffed with agents who are college graduates in agriculture and/or family and consumer sciences. These highly trained professionals are able to provide information on a variety of subjects, ranging from landscaping to nutrition, from animal health to family money management. These programs are available to all county residents.
Extension also gives special attention to youth. Challenges facing Tennessee's young people are greater than ever before. Extension's 4-H youth development program helps youth from 9 to 19 develop self-esteem, leadership and citizenship skills, and gain knowledge in a wide range of subjects. From health to public speaking, from wildlife to photography, 4-H brings tomorrow's world to today's youth, and encourages advanced education. Tennessee 4-H clubs have continually produced national winners in project competition, and Tennessee has one of the largest 4-H memberships in the nation.
UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. It is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state and local governments, that brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and resource development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.
Because Extension emphasizes helping people improve their livelihood where they are located, most Tennesseans have contact with UT Extension through their local county Extension agents found in each of the 95 counties. Extension agents are supported by area and state faculty as well as by the educational and research resources and activities of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 74 land-grant universities, and 3,150 county units throughout the nation. The stated mission of the system is to help people improve their lives through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge to address issues and needs.