Survey of veterinary extension in the United States

William M. Sischo, James G. Floyd, James D. McKean, William D. Hueston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To assess veterinary extension in the United States as perceived by veterinary extension personnel. Design - Cross-sectional survey. Sample Population - Extension veterinarians in the United States. Procedure - 2 surveys were designed and mailed to extension veterinarians listed by the USDA and the American Association of Extension Veterinarians. Results - 34 states had ≥ 1 extension veterinarian. The majority (> 60%) of extension veterinarians did not commit time to resident education and were not involved in research activities. Paradoxically, 23% of responding extension veterinarians did not report extension work. Programs for food animal producers, horse owners, and companion animal owners were provided by 100, 63, and 37% of states, respectively. Continuing education (CE) programs were provided for food animal veterinarians, equine veterinarians, and companion animal veterinarians by 96, 63, and 52% of states, respectively. Challenges facing veterinary extension included limited recognition of veterinary extension activities by universities, lack of university personnel to support CE programs, and decreased support for companion animal extension programs. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Extension veterinarians need to identify and clearly articulate the mission of veterinary extension, develop more collaborative programs across regions, and continue to serve as catalysts to bring diverse constituents together. Extension veterinarians must distinguish their mission not solely as information transfer, which can be accomplished in a variety of ways outside of extension, but as a coherent and consistent program of education and policy developed on a national level and distributed locally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1443
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 1999


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