Cooperative Extension

The Cooperative Extension System (CES) works to empower farmers, ranchers, and rural and urban communities to

  • Improve nutrition and food safety
  • Prepare for and respond to emergencies
  • Protect our environment
  • Adapt to changing technology.

CESexternal icon is a network of more than 100 of America’s land-grant colleges and universities working with thousands of county and regional Extension offices. A key component of land-grant institutions is their inclusion of agricultural education.

The resources on this page can help people and organizations identify common interests and opportunities to work with Cooperative Extension programs to improve health literacy and address other public health issues in their communities. Read the reports on the Cooperative Extension National Framework and Health Literacy. Explore the programs on this page to see how Cooperative Extensions and their partners are using health literacy best practices in their work.

Cooperative Extension Framework & Health Literacy

The U.S. Cooperative Extension System published their National Framework for Health and Wellnessexternal icon in 2014.

A special issue of the Journal of Human Sciences & Extensionexternal icon provides reports on implementation of the framework, including

CES Programs & Health Literacy

variety of fresh fruits and vegetables

CES programs use health literacy best practices to help communities improve nutrition and address other public health issues.

Cooperative Extension programs often use health literacy best practices such as considering their audience’s culture and language, testing their materials with focus groups, involving members of their audience in the development and design of their communication products, and using trusted messengers. The following are examples of projects using these best practices:


Page last reviewed: February 24, 2022