The Cooperative Extension Service (Extension) has built an outstanding reputation by serving clientele in rural areas. The organization’s credibility in the past has rested solidly on those stakeholders who have advocated for Extension’s continued existence due to its success in helping rural communities move beyond societal ills. With the rapid expansion of urban America, Extension’s potential for growth is tremendous—if the organization can adapt to meet the needs of metropolitan communities. This article features highlights of the successes and barriers presented by previous studies and makes suggestions on what can be done to move the urban Extension agenda forward. The authors share results of a case study in Kentucky in hopes of offering current and future recommendations for the many Extension systems across the country challenged with being as relevant a resource to urban areas as the organization is to its rural counterparts.



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