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Mission Extension: Sharing Programs and Assets via the National Extension Registry

Cooperative Extension professionals can register their projects, programs, or curricula for nationwide collaboration among colleagues via the National Registry of Cooperative Extension Programs and Assets (NRCEPA), housed at As part of outreach efforts in New Mexico and nationally, our team, the NMSU Department of Innovative Media, Research and Extension, values the chance to distribute its digital products via online educational portals such as NRCEPA.

For those of you who are Extension professionals, you too may want to consider submitting your materials to NRCEPA so that others may use them, especially if you develop curriculum or programs. For readers who are less familiar with Extension, you might want a little background to understand what it means and why we share resources!

ACES pillars for economic and community development are: Food and fiber production and marketing, water use and conservation, family development and health, and environmental stewardship.
Pillars for Research and Extension efforts in New Mexico (

What Is Cooperative Extension?

Many universities in the U.S. engage in research and teaching programs, but land-grant universities have an extra mission: Cooperative Extension. This term refers to the means of reaching out and extending university research and resources to meet public needs through non-formal educational programs at a community level. At the same time, a land-grant university provides research-based programs for residents within their state. Each one is designated by the state legislature or Congress to receive benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862, 1890, and 1994.

For more than a century, land-grant status has allowed universities to receive grants/funding in order to produce practical research and information for the residents of each institution’s state. Due to the difficulty of accessing education in many locations in the past, the initial intention of having this kind of college was to provide practical education to agricultural and industrial workers. Now, educational resources are provided to a much broader audience on a wide variety of topics.

NRCEPA NRCEPA encourages Extension personnel to share program materials, including multimedia products, for use by other agents or specialists. The project helps to reduce duplication of work and make it easier to find digital tools and assets for programs across counties and states. NRCEPA is set up to make this easy and helpful:

  • When registering a project, program, or curriculum, users are invited to add any digital assets they feel may be helpful to their peers nationally for download. This includes images, videos, text for campaigns, evaluation tools, and more.

  • The website auto-segments Cooperative Extension programs by program area, including Ag & Natural Resources, 4-H/Youth Development, FACS, Community Development, Immunization Education, and Urban Extension.

  • After submitting your program, project, or curriculum to the registry, you’ll be able to return any time to make updates.

  • Dynamic search helps users find what they need quickly by keyword.

NRCEPA was co-designed with organizations across Cooperative Extension, including the ECOP Health Innovation Task Force, and the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL). It is supported by New Technologies for Ag Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Our Outreach Mission As a land-grant university, NMSU continually focuses on improving research and extension efforts. We are grateful to be able to share our products via initiatives such as NRCEPA. As an Extension department, our team values all outreach opportunities and strives to share our products with as many educators and learners as possible.

Image shows a black-and-white photo of a train station to refer to the times when extension agent had to travel in order to perform research.
A century ago, New Mexico Extension agents reached communities by train (shown here in a historical photo). Today, Extension delivers practical, research-based knowledge through an array of programs and delivery formats to hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans. (NMSU Library Archives photo).

Pecan orchards in Las Cruces, NM.
Agriculture is important to our region. Agricultural producers, homeowners, students and the public rely on information provided by the Cooperative Extension Service to make decisions for the economic, environmental and social benefit of our state and community. This image shows a pecan orchard at New Mexico State University's Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center near Las Cruces (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

In an effort to reach more people with the resources developed at the Innovative Media Research and Extension department, we have listed many of our products on the NRCEPA platform. Animations, games and websites such as "Don't Be Gross," Outbreak Squad, Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands, and others are now accessible from this platform.


Discover extension. Read about Extension's Impact | New Mexico State University - BE BOLD. Shape the Future. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2022, from

National Registry of Cooperative Extension Programs & Assets (NRCEPA). Extension Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2022, from

University, Utah State (2022, October 6). The purpose and benefit of Land-Grant (Extension) universities. USU. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from

Written by Joel Gonzalez Parra, student assistant


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