The UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service has delivered science-based information to foster healthy people, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy for 100 years. For about the last 50 years, Florida's economy was based on growth, tourism and agriculture. Today, our population has stabilized, but the need continues for new information on food and fiver production, alternative energy and conservation, community resource development, and individual and family well-being. Florida Extension will continue to improve the lives of Floridians as we face the challenges of tomorrow and beyond.
Florida Extension will remain relevant to Floridians in three primay ways. First, we will renew our commitment to our mission, vision and fundamental values. We will continue to partner with communities to provide quality, relevant education and science-based expertise to solve contemporary problems. Our programmatic approach will encompass the land grant university values of unique purpose, excellence, integrity, collaboration and partnership, lifelong learning, diversity, responsiveness, innovation, open communication, and global reach.
Second, Florida Extension will implement "Shaping Solutions for Florida's Future," our Roadmap for 2013 to 2023. During the past 18 months, Florida Extension leaders listened to stakeholders from each of Florida's 67 counties, sought input from focus groups and community leaders, read thousands of on-line comments, and questioned and challenged county and state faculty from the University of Florida and Florida A & M University. We heard passions and concerns from all types of Floridians about issues affecting people's lives, the economy and jobs, and Florida's environment.
From the myriad of concerns we heard, Florida Extension identified five broad societal challenges and needs we call the "super issues" and seven high-priority initiatives that will guide our program development, delivery, and impact assessment:
Third, Florida Extension will remain accountable to Florida's stakeholders. Relevant programming and teaching remain axioms of Extension. Addressing important issues starts with increased awareness followed by increased knowledge. Yet, solutions to today's problems also require behavior or practice change. Change typically occurs slowly and it is difficult to measure. However, assessing how our Extension programs make a difference is central to our accountability. In this Roadmap, we expand our commitment to docu,ent the impact of our programs and show how we solve problems.
Shaping Solutions for Florida's Future serves as a gude for Florida Extension and it will keep us relevant through the next decade. Working together with the three land grant university missions - Research, Teaching, and Extension - we will provide time-proven and innovative solutions for Florida's future.