Extension is the third arm of the land grant system provided by the Smith-Lever Act in 1914. This Act established the Cooperative Extension Service and specified that the service would be associated with a land grant college. The Act also stipulated that Federal funds be matched with local funds. Florida Cooperative Extension is a partnership between UF/IFAS, United States Department of Agriculture, and county governments in Florida to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public through non-resident educational programs. Operating as part of IFAS, Extension serves each of the state's sixty-seven counties by providing information and conducting educational programs on various issues.
Animal Sciences Department faculty work closely with industry groups including several livestock associations, Florida Farm Bureau, and others to develop educational programs for their members. Schools, institutes, demonstrations, short courses, and field days are some of the activities resulting from the programs. Extension activities are viewed as a responsibility of the entire department, and faculty, other than those with extension appointments, contribute to these activities. Several groups of county faculty such as the South Florida Beef Forage Program, Central Florida Livestock Agents Group, and the Northeast Florida Beef & Forage Group, plan programs for their region and coordinate multi-county livestock field research and demonstration projects, supported by both departmental and Research and Education Center faculty. Extension faculty in the department and centers provide both support and leadership to youth livestock projects and conduct statewide activities for 4-H and FFA youth.