Serving Clay, Effingham, Fayette and Jasper Counties

Our commitment to addressing grand challenges

Illinois Extension provides practical translations of cutting-edge research to help people, businesses, and communities find answers to some of the most pressing issues of our modern world. Our work is guided by a desire to create meaningful progress toward addressing a select group of issues, which we call grand challenges.

Community grand challenge

Community involvement and leadership are core skills essential to thriving communities. Many of Extension’s most popular and long-standing programs celebrate community connectedness and the benefits of living in a society that is enabled to facilitate group decisionmaking and implement effective plans.

Economy grand challenge

Our programs and educational tools enhance local, state, and national efforts to create vibrant economic ecosystems that provide opportunity for businesses, communities, and the Illinois workforce. We are committed to creating resources that enhance community resilience because we believe that to be the foundation of economic vitality.

Environment grand challenge

Extension programs facilitate decision-making and discourse that balance the needs of agricultural producers against public interest in sustainable food production and preservation of the natural environment. Our work connects home and community landscapes to the larger community of professionals who are vested in protecting and preserving natural resources.

Food grand challenge

With target audiences ranging from small farm producers to global food manufacturers, Illinois Extension maintains a portfolio of resources to address issues of safety, security, and access throughout the food production, preparation, and consumption cycle.

Health grand challenge

We believe healthy families are an essential component of resilient communities, so our programs address critical issues like financial literacy, health management, and family wellness. Illinois Extension and our partners are committed to supporting Illinois at its most vulnerable level—individual families.