University of Illinois Extension’s mission is to enable people to improve their lives through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work. Partnering with the people we serve—that’s what Extension is all about. Key partners include local citizens who serve on advisory councils. Advisory councils exist at all three levels of the organization—local, regional and state. While there are council issues specific to each level of the organization, there also are issues that “feed up” from the local to state level or “filter down” from the state to local level. Regular communication between the various levels provides all council members with a better understanding of their critical role in the large Extension organization—that is, to ensure that Extension’s programs remain relevant and continue to meet the needs of the people of Illinois.
In 1914 the Cooperative Extension Service was created by the Smith-Lever Act.