Every year, Extension provides an accountability report to our federal partners. We are responsible to our federal funders for demonstrating that their investment in Minnesota results in clear and measurable impacts. As the federal funding continues to shift from formula funds to competitive grants, the information gathered in our federal accountability report will be even more important for our future.
Federal dollars are vital for funding the Extension positions and infrastructure that allow us to deliver quality research-based education programs throughout Minnesota. In fact, 16 percent ($10.3M) of Extension's annual budget is from federal legislation. An additional 13 percent ($8.6M) is from a federal grant that supports the food stamp/nutrition education programs.
The federal reviewers of last year's report commented, "We were particularly pleased to see some precise outcomes were included that show how University of Minnesota is poised to make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans." However, the reviewers' comments also highlighted the need for Extension to continue to improve our ability to clearly identify the issues our programs address while tracking our impacts. I ask that all of you continue to work with your evaluation specialists to plan for and evaluate program impacts so we continue to have impact-based accomplishments to report.
In the next month, Joyce Hoelting and Jenny Obst will compile the combined Extension and Experiment Station report for 2009. Thank you in advance for your program outcomes and for working with Joyce to ensure that we are able to capture that information in our accountability reports.