The National Extension System

Each state’s Cooperative Extension Service functions independently to meet local needs. Regionally, extension is supported by the regional associations (including NEED). As a national system Cooperative Extension is supported and represented by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP).  

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP)

“ECOP is the representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension. The Cooperative Extension Section represents the directors and administrators of member Extension institutions (76) in their collective dealings with other units of the APLU Commission on Food, Environment, and Renewable Resources (CFERR), the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA), federal agencies, organizations, and the public. ECOP is headquartered at the APLU in Washington, D.C.”

Learn more at the ECOP Homepage.

In addition to its core responsibility of representing the priorities of Cooperative Extension within the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, ECOP strives to provide benefit directly back to the System by:  

  • building partnerships and acquiring resources;
  • increasing strategic marketing and communications;
  • enhancing leadership and professional development; and
  • strengthening organizational functioning

Regional Extension Associations

Learn more about the five Cooperative Extension regions. Details for the other four Associations can be found through their respective websites:

  • Association of Extension AdministratorsWebsite (Learn more about the history and value of the 1890 Land Grant Institutions through this short video)
  • Association of Southern Region Extension DirectorsWebsite 
  • North Central Cooperative Extension AssociationWebsite
  • Western Extension Directors AssociationWebsite