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The Power of Multi-State Programming

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Extension in Minnesota is a national leader in partnering with other states to address today's issues that often cross state lines. Flood response in the Red River Valley, Emerald Ash Borer research, and financial security education are all examples of timely issues that Minnesota faculty and educators are addressing with other states.

As we continue to look for ways to increase both our impact and funding, Extension program teams should look across state lines for opportunities to initiate or strengthen partnerships with other states. Federal agencies, nonprofits and industry often recognize and value states that work together by rewarding multi-state collaborations when making funding or grant decisions.

Professional societies as well as regional and national conferences all provide opportunities to develop the necessary relationships with colleagues from other states that lead to joint programs. Recently, eXtension has placed much emphasis and many resources on forming communities of practice, which enables faculty from multiple states to collaborate. And, many of our departmental faculty have worked across state borders via Multi-State Research Committees overseen by the Agricultural Experiment Stations. These multi-state committees have resulted in great regional projects like the US Pork Center for Excellence. 

Many of the issues we are dealing with are not unique to Minnesota, thus working with other states provides an opportunity to leverage other resources by expanding our scope. 

Mike Schmitt
Senior Associate Dean, Programs and Research

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