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Extension's Role in Sustainability

Rural Connections Features Extension's Role in Sustainability

The newest issue of Rural Connections addresses the questions: What is sustainability? Who cares about the issues? What is Extension doing to address sustainability? Where are the gaps in our programmatic outreach? What specifically does and should Extension offer in the five major areas of environmental sustainability (land, air, food, water, and energy)?

Link to the publication here.

What is Rural Connections and Why Sustainability? 

Rural Connections is a publication by the Western Rural Development Center, issued twice each year. Each issue focuses on a particular topic of interest to residents in the Western US. Contributors include researchers, faculty, and professionals from throughout the region. In the May 2014 issue of Rural Connections, Dr. Brain of USU Extension Sustainability and session chairs from the 2013 Extension Sustainability Summit examine Extension’s history and its unique position to effect positive change across the nation in relation to environmental sustainability. According to Don Albrecht, Western Rural Development Center Director, "My hope is that readers will be encouraged to continue expansion and growth of sustainability work in Extension. We also encourage you to join us for the second Extension Sustainability Summit to be held in 2015."

What Lead to this Publication? 

In October 2013, USU Extension Sustainability and the Western Rural Development Center partnered to organize the first Extension Sustainability Summit in Park City, Utah. Presentations, keynote speakers, and displays with 50 participants all described Extension programs that have been developed around the theme of sustainability. USU Extension Sustainability's simple definition of sustainability is 'living with an environmental ethic.' As summarized by Don Albrecht of the Western Rural Development Center, "speakers presented programs designed to help individuals and communities address significant resource issues and concerns. Sessions included sustainability (Roslynn Brain), land (Mark Apel), climate and air (Gregg Garfin), water (Bob Simmons), food (Rose Hayden-Smith), and energy (Milton Geiger).