Cooperative Extension Service

to help people improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge focused on issues critical to the economic, agricultural, societal, health/safety, and environmental progress of all Americans.

Identify and solve their farm, home, and community problems

through the practical application of research findings of USDA and the land-grant colleges and Universities.

The Cooperative Extension System is a future-oriented, self-renewing, national educational network providing excellence in programs that focus on contemporary issues and needs of people.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Significant accomplishments include: (1) A university worked with community residents to assess needs and strengths, develop resources and implement customized programs to reduce developmental risks for child and youth; (2) Funding has helped one State implement a pro-active educational approach to pest control to minimize the likelihood of potential problems for apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, field corn, turfgrass, several nursery crops and greenhouse crops.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Federal funding is made available to 1862, 1890, and 1994 Land-grant Institutions, which, through State and county extension service personnel, or by direct efforts provide educational and technical assistance to individuals, communities, organizations and other Federal and State authorized agencies for programs in the food and agricultural sciences.

A facilities program, which is only authorized to fund projects at the 1890 Institutions for construction, renovation, planning and development of new facilities, and equipment is also conducted.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

By law, Extension programs, authorized and appropriated under the Smith-Lever Act, are made to the designated 1862 Land-Grant institutions in the 50 States and Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, and the District of Columbia, and are administered by the Director of the State Extension Service at each eligible institution.

Funds also are made available to the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, including Tuskegee University and West Virginia State University, under section 1444 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA) and are administered by the Extension Administrator at each eligible institution.

Under section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act, funds may be made available through formula grants or through a competitive process to both the 1862 Land-Grant Institutions and to the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, if funds appropriated for that fiscal year exceed the FY 1995 level appropriated for that program.

Funds are also made available on a competitive basis to the 1994 Land-grant institutions under 534(b) of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994.

Funds also are made available to the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions for Facilities Grants on a formula basis under section 1447 of NARETPA.

Funds also are made available on a formula basis to both the 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Institutions under the Renewable Resources Extension Act.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Extension Programs at the State and county level are available to the general public.


None. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under Executive Order 12372 and OMB Circular No.


Application Procedures

Institutions or States submit Plans of Work for the funds authorized under Sections 3 (b) and (c) of the Smith-Lever Act and Section 1444 of the National Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Reform Act of 1977, to the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA, for approval. Eligible recipients will be notified by CSREES of any changes in the requirements for preparation of the Plan of Work. Eligible recipients, including the 1862, 1890, and 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, also may prepare grant proposals for review and approval of Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service-USDA in response to Requests for Applications (e.g., Tribal Colleges Extension Services Program, AgrAbility Program, Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk Program. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-21, A-110, and A-133.

Award Procedures

Payments are made to State Land-grant institutions basically on a formula basis for an approved Plan of Work. Competitive grant awards also are made upon selection through a competitive process.


Eligible recipients will be notified by CSREES of any changes in Plan of Work or reporting deadlines or related requirements. Deadlines for competitive programs are identified in the Request for Applications.


Smith-Lever Act, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 341-349; District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act, Public Law 93-471; Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, as amended; Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978, Section 1361(c), Public Law 95-306; Public Law 95-113, 7 U.S.C. 301n; Public Law 97-98; Agriculture and Food Act of 1981; Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, Public Law 99-198; Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, as amended, Public Law 102-624; Improving America's Schools Act of 1994, as amended, Public Law 103-382; Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104-127; Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998, Public Law 105-185; Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000,Public Law 106-224, Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Public Law 107-171.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Plans of work are approved or returned for revision or additional information within 60 days after receipt. Project proposals are reviewed, approved, and awarded within 60 days of designated submission dates.


Not applicable.


Grant recipients may renew or extend projects with CSREES approval.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Smith-Lever Act Section 3(b) and 3(c), and Section 1444 of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 formula funds are distributed to States based on farm and rural population. Funds authorized under Section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program are allocated based on population below the poverty level. The source for both of these distributions is the last preceding decennial census at the time an additional amount is first appropriated. Formula funds provided under the Smith-Lever Act Section 3(b) and (c) and under Section 1444 of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 are matched as required in Public Law 105-185. The statistical factor used for eligibility does not apply to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Formula Grants are a continuing program each year. Funds are made available through the electronic transfer system. 1862 Land-grant institutions in the 50 States, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Micronesia, Northern Marianas and the Virgin Islands are permitted to carry over unexpended balances to the next year for up to five years. 1890 Land-Grant Institutions are permitted to carry over twenty percent of unexpended funding to the next year; funding not expended in the subsequent year will reduce future allocations.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual financial and statistical reports are furnished to the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service-USDA, by the State Extension Service and other recipients.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Financial records on annual expenditures are maintained in accordance with university or State Extension Service regulations.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $431,247,815; FY 08 est $410,099,340; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$890,000 to $19,962,000; $7,210,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Guidelines applicable to this program include: 7 CFR Part 3; 7 CFR Part 3015; 7 CFR Part 3017; 7 CFR Part 3018; 7 CFR Part 3019; 7 CFR Part 3052. Many different publications are available from State and county extension offices. Most are free, some are sold at nominal cost. In addition, Department of Agriculture publications may be obtained from the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; United States Department of Agriculture; Policy, Oversight, and Funds Management Branch, Stop 2298; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20250-2298.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Administrator, Planning and Accountability; Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service; Department of Agriculture; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-5623.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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