Extension is a public-funded, non-formal educational system linking the land-grant University and county government. It is believed to be the largest adult and youth out-of-school non-formal educational organization in the world. The three partners in programming are USDA, the state land-grant institution and the county government.
The federal partner is United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA has four mission areas. Extension is located in the Research Education and Economics (REE) mission area. The agency that administers Extension is the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
The land-grant colleges and universities have an alliance known as The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). Programs and policy for extension are formed by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). In Nebraska funding for the Extension is through the University of Nebraska. University funding is appropriated by the Unicameral (state legislature) on a bi-annual basis through income tax and sales tax. By law Nebraska’s state budget must balance with its tax revenue.
In Nebraska the University has an interlocal agreement with county government to provide the local support including funding through local property tax dollars for the office facility, support staff, travel, programming supplies and equipment. This support varies depending on the size of the county. Each county or groups of counties have a constitution and bylaws that provide for an extension board to assist with program identification and planning.