What Is 1890 Extension at PVAMU?

  • 100 Anniversary Smith Lever Act logo

In 2014, Cooperative Extension celebrated 100 years of extending knowledge and changing lives, under the Smith-Lever Act.  However, one of the most frequently asked questions to Extension employees is “What is Extension”? Extension is the community outreach branch of Prairie View A&M University, through the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, mandated to provide low cost and often free educational programs and activities. Programs are offered by professional educators through one-on-one consultations, group meetings, and seminars in four areas:  Agriculture & Natural Resources, Community & Economic Development, Family & Consumer Sciences and 4-H and Youth Development. Our Extension Agents are located in several counties fulfilling the mission of taking the university to the people. There are two land-grant institutions in the state of Texas: Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University with stellar Extension programs. Subsequently, the passage of the Second Morrill Act of 1890 made the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University possible.

Students posing with kid goats at the PVAMU farmThe Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University is a component of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. Through a well-organized network of professional educators and more than 4,000 trained volunteers, the CEP delivers practical research-based knowledge to small farm producers, families, aspiring entrepreneurs and youth in Texas counties. The CEP extension agents and program specialists respond not only with answers, but meet people where they are and move them to the next level.  In order to satisfy federal goals and CAHS strategic plan objectives, programs are offered to clientele in the four program areas. To strengthen the outreach impact in 2006, the CEP began receiving funds to implement the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). The EFNEP was created to assist low-income families and youth acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets. This program has contributed to the personal development and improvement of diet and nutritional welfare for Texas families. As the EFNEP funding increases, this program will expand to other counties with high poverty rates.

CEP Staff at the Emergency Management SummitPresently, there are over 78 employees working together at the county and headquarters’ level to grow ideas and impact lives of Texas’ limited resource individuals and families. Due to the rapid population growth in Texas and the number of counties with significant poverty, the CEP is preparing to expand into additional counties, focusing on serving the StrikeForce Counties. Texas has 96 StrikeForce counties that have been identified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA’s StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative works to address the unique set of challenges faced by many of America’s rural communities. Through StrikeForce, USDA is leveraging resources and collaborating with partners and stakeholders to improve economic opportunity and quality of life in these areas.

Boy in Red Hoodie Using HP ComputerThe Cooperative Extension Program has engaged the limited resource communities in relevant educational programs and activities over 30 years. Annual accomplishment reports cite examples of public value and positive benefits by individuals, families and communities who participate in our youth and adult outreach activities. Because of the support of federal, state and county governments, we will continue our mission as the primary advocate in the state of Texas for underserved student populations and limited resource clientele. CEP is dedicated to fostering academic excellence, increasing health and wellbeing and enhancing economic opportunities through research, education and service in agriculture and the human sciences.

Mission and CEP Facts:

The CAHS has…

One Mission encompassing a 4-Prong Vision with 20 Goals and 48 Objectives leading 3 units in one direction for the next 5 years.

We will be a…

Student Magnet known around the nation as a Gateway to Opportunity operating under a One College Concept delivering Community Outreach that is Second to None.

  • Mandated to serve limited resource audiences
  • Located in 35 Texas Counties
  • Largest county, state, and national network
  • Mr. Hoover Carden appointed first CEP Administrator in 1972
  • Dr. Linda Willis appointed CEP Administrator in 1996
  • EPNEF nutrition classes graduates parents (with small children)
  • Dr. Freddie Richards appointed CEP Administrator in 2007
  • E-bus assisted in enrolling senior adults in Medicare Part D Project
  • Dr. Alton B. Johnson appointed CEP Director of Land-Grant Programs in 2011.
  • Youth involved in STEAM education and activities
  • Entrepreneurs trained in Energy Efficiency
  • Collaborations with Walmart and other corporations to Small farm producers
  • Childhood Obesity education engages parents and youth

Dr. Carolyn J. Williams

Dr. Carolyn J. Williams
Associate Administrator for Cooperative Extension Program, PVAMU
(936) 261-5122