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The Cooperative Extension Service, is a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant universities. In most states the educational offerings are in the areas of agriculture and food, home and family, the environment, community economic development, and youth and 4-H. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the USDA administers funding for Smith Lever Act services in cooperation with state and county governments and land-grant universities. (Wikipedia, accessed June 3, 2010)

Watch this video that explains the history of land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System: