The ISU Extension and Outreach predates the national Extension movement. In 1903, Sioux County farmers and Iowa State University (then called the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts) cooperated on seed corn improvement, thereby establishing the “extension idea” that would later be enacted nationwide through the Smith-Lever Act of 1914.The Smith-Lever Act created a nationwide system of cooperative extension services that provided outreach activities through land-grant universities. The Department of Extension was founded eight years prior to the passage of the Act with funding from the Iowa General Assembly. Perry G. Holden served as its first superintendent. Early extension activities included educational trains, demonstrations, and short courses. In 1966, University Extension was established by merging the Agricultural Short Course Office, Cooperative Extension, Engineering Extension, and the Center for Industrial Research and Service into a single administrative unit. In 2006, University Extension became Extension and Outreach.
The purpose of University Extension and Outreach is to carry the University’s land-grant mission to all 99 counties by providing research-based educational programs through the development of diverse and meaningful partnerships.
For more information on Extension and Outreach, see the links below, check the library catalog, or view the Extension Collections in the University Archives.
Note: not all links listed under "Browse By County" will return items. As we build the collection, more counties will yield results. Please check back periodically.
Browse By County
- Black Hawk
- Buena Vista
- Cerro Gordo
- Des Moines
- Palo Alto
- Van Buren
Browse the digital collections by a map of Iowa counties. Whenever possible, the associated Iowa county has been noted on each digital item. Not all items have a known county association.
Selections from the University Archives that help tell the story of ISU Extension and Outreach.
A digital exhibit exploring the development of the Extension Service from 1900 – 1924.
Access Extension and Outreach publications, presentations, research, and scholarship.
County-specific publications from Extension and Outreach’s Iowa Community Indicators Program.
The home page for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The Land Grant Legacy project is an effort to trace the histories of the land that generated funds for the Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University).