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Cooperative Extension

Photo: Master Gardener teaching about gardens. Photo: Turf Class. Photo: Farming Class.
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The Extension 360 podcast highlights the programs of Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the people that make them possible.


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Rutgers Cooperative Extension: Serving New Jersey for Over 100 Years

Watch the Rutgers Cooperative Extension: Serving New Jersey for Over 100 Years video


Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension helps the diverse population of New Jersey adapt to a rapidly changing society and improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses science-based knowledge. Through science-based educational programs, Rutgers Cooperative Extension truly enhances the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and brings the wealth of knowledge of the state university to local communities.


Ensure healthy lifestyles; provide productive futures for youth, adults, and communities; enhance and protect environmental resources; ensure economic growth and agricultural sustainability; and improve food safety and nutrition.


What We Do

The Department of 4-H Youth Development provides educational outreach programming for youth in grades K-13 (one year out of high school) through 4-H clubs, special interest programs, school enrichment, afterschool child care education programs and overnight camping. Regardless of the subject matter—whether it be science, healthy living or citizenship, 4-H uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth learn responsibility, community awareness and character development. Along with Rutgers faculty and staff, volunteers share their knowledge and time with today's youth.

The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources delivers programs that assist commercial businesses, governmental agencies, agribusinesses and residents with assistance, information, field research, and consultation on various issues related to agriculture, environmental issues, and natural resources management. Integrated Pest Management, the Master Gardener and Environmental Steward Programs, water resource rain barrel and rain garden workshops, pesticide applicator recertification, horticultural therapy and outreach programs, and Extension Bulletins and Factsheets are some of our most well known and subscribed efforts.

New Jersey Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) staff have been helping low-income families eat better and get active for more than 50 years! NJ EFNEP helps low-income families from Camden, Essex, Hudson and Passaic Counties eat better and get active on a budget. EFNEP’s peer educators provide practical, “hands-on” lessons in schools, faith-based organizations, and community groups, to children (aged 5-18) and their caregivers. EFNEP’s staff are peer educators from the communities they serve. They understand their participants - where they work, where they got to school, where they shop, and where they play, because they’ve been there! And because EFNEP is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, when the science about nutrition and activity changes, EFNEP participants are the first to know!

Extension Specialists comprise more than 40 Ph.D. tenure-track faculty who generate research-based information and solutions in the areas of agriculture, food and nutrition, environmental sciences and natural resources, and youth development. Their expertise and programs are delivered to the residents of New Jersey primarily through Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension agents and educators in the state's 21 counties. Specialists are located on the George H. Cook Campus in offices and labs in their academic department as well as at off-campus research and extension centers around the state.

Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) helps people stay healthy, enjoy life, be active, and reduce health care costs. Many of today's health problems--obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—can be reduced through good nutrition and a healthy life style. FCHS encourages today's busy families and individuals to learn more and make personal choices to improve health. FCHS combines research and practical advice to improve your health for a better tomorrow.

The Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) provides educational opportunities for adults and adolescents through short courses, workplace training, and youth services. Our creative, friendly, and collaborative team includes program coordinators, grant managers, multimedia producers, registrars, event planners, marketers, accountants, and customer service staff.

The Office of Urban Extension and Engagement raises the visibility of NJAES and SEBS expertise and resources available to address issues affecting urban residents and their communities. The Office coordinates and communicates RCE programs and projects that address food security, individual and community health, resource stewardship, urban agriculture and food chains, environmental planning and design, and other challenges facing our state.