Federal, State & Local Ties

CCE is part of the nationwide Cooperative Extension system of educational programs that are funded by federal, state and county governments. The U. S. Department of Agriculture is the federal partner while land grant universities are state partners. The passage of two laws by the U. S. Congress made this nationwide system possible. The Morrill Act passed in 1862 established the land grant universities and the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 funded the federal portion of Cooperative Extension.

In New York State, Cornell is the land-grant institution charged with responsibility for extension programs around the state. The name Cornell Cooperative Extension reflects this history and partnership:

Cornell – the land-grant university for New York State.
Cooperative – cooperation among the land-grant institutions, USDA and New York county governments.
Extension – the extending of Land-Grant university resources into communities, enabling all citizens to put research-based knowledge to work in their daily lives.

County governments throughout New York State provide substantial funding for Cornell Cooperative Extension programs conducted within their boundaries. County Cooperative Extension Associations, governed by elected Boards of Directors, provide local input to the program development process and monitor expenditures to ensure that these funds are used to effectively meet the needs of county residents. The county name is added to the Cornell Cooperative Extension title to identify these local Associations.

Empowered by this unique organizational structure, Cornell Cooperative Extension engages citizens and community leaders in processes that identify the educational needs of local people, design programs that support lifelong learning and initiate actions that improve communities. This process of linking research-based knowledge with local citizen participation is summarized in the CCE mission statement.

Relevant Documents

  • This diagram on the Cornell University Cooperative Extension website illustrates the Cornell Cooperative Extension Organizational Structure and the relationship between campus, state and national extension networks.
  • NYS County Law, Article 5 § 224 - Optional appropriations and contracts for public benefit services Sets forth (in #8) requirements regarding the establishment and operation of county cooperative extension associations, including roles & responsiblities of their boards, funding, and their relationships and contractual obligations with county government and Cornell University.
  • Memorandum of Agreement with Dutchess County (59kb PDF): Required annually for the purpose of establishing and formalizing the transfer Dutchess County tax funds to CCE-Dutchess for the work of the Association.
  • Constitution & By Laws of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County   (421kb PDF) [Adopted 2020] 10-page document setting forth the name and objectives of this Association; policies regarding selection, composition, duties and terms of service for its Board of Directors; election of Board officers; provisions for holding meetings; and operating guidelines.

Last updated February 6, 2020