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For more than 100 years, West Virginians have trusted West Virginia University Extension agents to be their local source of reliable, safe and timely information. Our faculty agents, specialists and staff are the “extension” of the University, and our WVU Extension county offices are the front door to the University in all 55 West Virginia counties.
Extension was created in 1914 by the signing of the Smith-Lever Act, an act of Congress that formed the nationwide Cooperative Extension system. This innovative system is comprised of more than 70 land-grant colleges and universities across the United States whose main purpose is to bring trusted, research-based, university information and resources to their communities.
With this purpose in mind, WVU Extension focuses on four key areas to benefit residents of the state. These areas include Families and Health; 4-H Youth Development; Agriculture and Natural Resources; and Communities, Economic and Workforce Development.
Through West Virginia 4-H, more than 80,000 — one in four — youths access opportunities to gain valuable life and leadership skills and experiences, and to advance to higher education.
West Virginia’s small farm industry is an important part of the state’s economy and culture, and Extension offers trusted, research-backed information to help farms and farm families thrive.
WVU Extension also provides guidance on proper stewardship and use of the state’s plentiful natural resources that creates capital for West Virginians and invigorate the state’s economy.
WVU Extension’s Families and Health programs, through trusted University research, provide curriculums and education to reduce obesity and diabetes and increase overall well-being for the state’s 1.8 million residents.
Through its Community, Economic Workforce Development program unit, Extension helps to strengthen and grow organizations and communities.
With a presence and connection to all counties across West Virginia, Extension faculty and staff have served their communities through many Extension outreach efforts for 100 years, and counting.