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Special Issue on Innovation 2018

Lights by Jamie Neely is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Supported by: eXtension logo

September 2018 // Volume 56 // Number 5 // Editorial // 5ED1

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Exploring Innovation in Extension

Abstract
In a welcome statement, we, the Journal of Extension Special Issue on Innovation 2018 guest editors, invite readers to explore this issue's 22 articles addressing innovation in Extension. We also extend thanks to eXtension Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture for their support in making the issue possible.


Journal of Extension Special Issue on Innovation 2018 Guest Editors

Kenneth J. La Valley
Dean and Director
University of New Hampshire Extension
Durham, New Hampshire
ken.lavalley@unh.edu

Eli Sagor
Associate Extension Professor
University of Minnesota
Cloquet, Minnesota
esagor@umn.edu
@esagor

Deborah Sheely
Associate Dean
University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension
Kingston, Rhode Island
dsheely@uri.edu

Jerry Thomas
Associate Professor, Community and Extension Education
Ohio State University Extension
Columbus, Ohio
thomas.69@osu.edu

Nathan Meyer
Program Leader, Extension Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota Extension
Cloquet, Minnesota
meyer179@umn.edu
@natejmeyer

Terry Meisenbach
Director, Impact Collaboratives
eXtension Foundation, Inc.
Rancho Mirage, California
tmeisenbach@extension.org
@tmeisenbach

Cooperative Extension's innovative, energetic, and connected educators have been developing and promoting contemporary, practical education to meet the country's needs for more than 100 years. Our deeply rooted commitment to making people's lives better defines and guides our work and will continue to do so.

As we look ahead to Extension's next century of service, we must consider the myriad factors that will influence our continued work with communities to address the nation's most complex challenges. This is especially true as we consider Extension's changing audience, people of all walks of life in urban and rural communities. As our country grows more diverse, we in Extension will need to build on our organization's productive and accomplished history. We must do so in order to address the changing needs, modes of communication, and preferred information tools of those we serve. Perhaps more importantly, this spirit of evolution and innovation ensures that Extension remains relevant, vibrant, and vital. What does this mean for how we do our work?

This Journal of Extension Special Issue on Innovation 2018 addresses this question by reaching across the Extension system to mine our colleagues' innovative practices. With more than 180 abstracts submitted, representing 47 institutions and 40 states, the selection process was not easy. We invite you to use this compilation of 22 articles from across the Extension system as a resource to innovate your own programming, a charge to think differently, and a source of new colleagues with whom to collaborate. We also invite you to stay current on innovations in Extension by regularly reading the Journal of Extension, which addresses new ideas and initiatives in Extension on an ongoing basis.

Finally, we extend special thanks to eXtension Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture for their generous support in making this special issue of the Journal of Extension possible.