Texas Agricultural Extension service changing name, keeping commitments

The Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System on Friday, July 27, approved changing the name of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service to Texas Cooperative Extension. “The new name ties the agency’s roots to the broader service it currently offers and will offer in the future,” said Chancellor Howard Graves. “Our hope is that more Texans will take advantage of the variety of programs and services available through Extension.” Citing the state’s tremendous urban growth, among other changing demographics, Dr. Ed Hiler, vice chancellor and director of Texas Cooperative Extension, explained that the change was necessary to maintain and improve service to all Texans. “Our mission always has been to provide education to help farmers and ranchers increase their productivity, to help families succeed, to empower young people to grow into productive citizens and to help communities develop economically,” Hiler said. “But some people, especially in our urban centers, never realized we offered all those opportunities because our name seemed to emphasize only one area.” “We are very pleased to make this change and to renew our commitment to serving all Texans.” Despite the change in the name, Extension leaders affirmed that the agency’s commitment to Texas’ $15 billion agriculture industry will remain as strong as ever. “Throughout our history, agriculture has been an integral part of what we do, one of the primary reasons for our work’and that won’t change,” deputy director Chester Fehlis said. “However, our mission has always been broader than just agriculture, and we want all Texans to feel comfortable requesting assistance for the wide array of Extension educational programs designed to serve their needs.” Why the word “cooperative'” Texas Cooperative Extension is an agency founded on the cooperation of federal, state and county governments, Fehlis said.

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