Extension's first tourism programs were developed in the 1960s for resort owners in northeastern Minnesota. Tourism specialists used the tried-and-true Extension model for working with farmers and small communities. They helped community leaders plan and develop tourism while boosting business activity, respecting the interests of local citizens and protecting natural resources. The programs spread as community development educators provided research and educational programs across the state. Throughout, the Minnesota Department of Tourism provided feedback and support. In 1987, Extension and the University of Minnesota, with private endowments, created the Tourism Center for ongoing educational programs.