Feeding North America Through Agriculture Extension- A Report from North American Agriculture Network (NAAAN)

In the summer of 2021, to develop baseline information for the NAAAN’s activities, a qualitative and comparative overview of the agricultural advisory service systems in Canada, Mexico, and the United States was conducted. The development of this comparative overview became known as the NAAAN Mapping Exercise. The survey reviewed important characteristics of the publicly supported agricultural advisory services in each country and described and compared the institutional landscapes and historical origins; extension approaches; areas of focus; relationship to agricultural research institutions and agricultural education and training institutions; and sources of funding.
As part of the Mapping Exercise, a country-specific survey was developed and carried out by the NAAAN Secretariat and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRISS) at Colorado State University (CSU). The NAAAN Country Survey solicited information, comments, and views from agricultural advisory/extension experts from each of the three countries to learn how publicly supported agricultural extension programs are structured and operated. The survey was sent to more than 500 expert recipients across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Responses were received from 170 participants: 51 from Canada, 64 from Mexico, and 55 from the United States. The full survey and responses are found at the end of this publication. In addition to the country surveys, teams of experts in each country developed reports telling the unique story of the evolution of extension services in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
These reports capture publicly supported agricultural extension efforts from the perspectives of the content experts and demonstrate somewhat contrasting programs in the three North American countries. Much can be learned from the contrasting experiences chronicled in these reports.