Land-Grant Universities and Extension into the 21st Century

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Land-Grant Universities and Extension Into The 21st Century by George R. McDowell, Iowa State University Press, 2001, 214 pp. hardbound, $59.95

Land-Grant Universities and Extension into the 21st Century is a welcome addition to the few books available on the subject of Land-Grant Universities, and the interrelationship with the Cooperative Extension Service. The book is clearly written, interesting, informative, well documented, and easy to understand. The real value of the book would be supplemental reading for those who want an in-depth view and critical analysis of the land-grant university and Cooperative Extension Service system. It is must reading for anyone who desires to learn more about this topic.

In the first several chapters of the book, Dr. McDowell is critical of extension by stating that it is adrift in the transformation of America because production agriculture still dominates the technical transfer of knowledge. There are fewer farmers, but extension has not followed the change. The author states that community colleges are replacing the land-grant university as the "peoples college."

In succeeding chapters, McDowell describes the mission of the land-grant university and the role to be played in providing public service and extension programs. The author argues that public service/extension is an important university contribution to society and it is important to the quality and relevance of the scholarship, including research undertaken at universities. …