Nebraska Extension Launches New Strategic Direction

by Mike Bergland-Riese | Nebraska Extension

Nebraska East Campus
December 1, 2022

Lincoln, Neb. —Nebraska Extension is rolling out its 2023-2027 strategic direction, captured in three ambitions designated as “The Big 3:” 

    • Strengthen Nebraska agriculture and food systems.  
    • Inspire Nebraskans and their communities.  
    • Enhance the health and wellbeing of all Nebraskans. 

This strategic direction is primarily based on ongoing conversations with people from across the state, reflecting the critical issues Nebraskans must address for a thriving future:  

  • Developing a skilled workforce 
  • Enhancing health and well-being 
  • Creating statewide economic vitality 
  • Retaining and attracting young people 
  • Leveraging Nebraska’s strengths for sustained success 

The direction is also aligned with resources and research, such as Blueprint Nebraska, that depict Nebraskans’ opportunities and challenges, plus the University of Nebraska’s Five-Year Strategy and University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s N2025 | Strategic Aims.  

“We’re really excited to be focusing our work on the things that matter the most to Nebraskans,” said Charlie Stoltenow, dean and director of Nebraska Extension. “The Big 3 capture and address these critical issues, closely tie Extension to work of the greater University of Nebraska, and leverage the strengths and opportunities of the people of Nebraska Extension. I’ve learned in my time here that nobody connects with the people of Nebraska like the people of Extension, so we have a fantastic basis on which to make real progress in delivering on these ambitions.” 

Nebraska Extension is kicking off this strategic direction in fall 2022 with the creation of plans directly supporting the strategic direction. The execution of those plans begin in January 2023. Ongoing execution, evaluation and reporting, adjustment, and updating will take place from 2023. Complete descriptions of The Big 3:  

Strengthen Nebraska agriculture and food systems. By connecting with Nebraska Extension, Nebraska amplifies its strengths in agriculture, food production and natural resources stewardship in ways that are environmentally and economically sustainable—ensuring that all Nebraskans have access to safe and healthy food, abundant water, and the benefits of Nebraskan’s outdoor spaces. 

Inspire Nebraskans and their communities. By connecting with Nebraska Extension, Nebraska has a robust, diverse population of well-prepared, innovative and productive people—beginning with Nebraska youth—living in thriving, vibrant communities that are contributing to the sustained success and growth of the entire state. 

Enhance the health and wellbeing of all Nebraskans. By connecting with Nebraska Extension, Nebraskans are healthier in every respect—physically, mentally and economically—leading to an even better quality of life, greater prosperity and a promising future for all. 

“On my travels across the state in 2022, I’ve been inspired by the people within Extension and Nebraskans overall,” Stoltenow said. “I feel confident our focus on helping Nebraskans create a brighter future paves the way for even more contributions from Nebraska Extension.” 

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