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In our rapidly changing digital era, Alabama Extension continues to lead in research and problem solving. Our educational outreach spans the state creating economic opportunities for residents, providing the latest resources for improving lives, producing game-changing young people with unlimited potential, and offering practical solutions to real-world problems.

We reach one in three Alabamians with empowering education and know-how—and with an impressive return on investment. In every way, we advance Alabama!

Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources

Animal Sciences and Forages

  • 58% of 300 goat and sheep farmers and food producers completed surveys for the Alternative Livestock program. Assessment surveys indicated that 76 reported earning profits ranging from $5,000 to more than $51,000.

Aquaculture and Fisheries

  • 1.6 million oysters at a wholesale value of $1,380,500 were produced by cultivated oyster farms in Alabama with assistance of Extension personnel. The 18 commercial operations created 20 full-time and 10 part-time jobs.
  • 118 volunteer oyster gardeners grew 123,271 oysters to restore 6.1 acres of native beds. The combined filtration capacity of 171,500 gallons per hour will improve Gulf water quality.

Beef Cattle and Forage Systems

  • 41% increase in the use of Beef Basics Course with participants reporting a total program impact of $346,290 or $97/head. ROI = 30:1
  • 170 livestock producers with tall fescue pastures, which are susceptible to toxicity during the summer, participated in management meetings. Reported economic impact on their 19,776 acres is $1.4 million or an average of $11,146 per farmer. ROI = 406:1
  • Stocker cattle operators reported a 19% increase in knowledge and an average economic impact of $6,450 per farm because of Extension programs specifically for this industry sector. ROI = 32:1
  • 76 producers who own 5,928 head of cattle estimated increased profitability of $99,864 from participating in bull calf selection workshops. ROI = 25:1

Commercial Horticulture

  • Timely application of fungicides by pumpkin and winter gourd growers resulted in $36,000 additional income from Extension’s conducting cucurbit sentinel plots at a cost of $2,500. ROI 14 = 1
  • Black Belt farmers learned to use social media in direct marketing of their products. 58% reported a 1% to 25% increase in sales while 25% achieved a 25% to 50% increase by implementing social media marketing strategies.
  • 1,161 beginning farmers developed business and IPM plans under Extension guidance. They reported savings and additional sales of $2.9 million. ROI = 10:1
  • Extension personnel responded to 9,000 calls and 20,000 emails while making 400 field visits to assist produce and fruit farmers who sell products through marketing partners for a reported economic impact of $18 million. ROI = 67:1
  • High-volume produce and fruit farmers reported a $3.8 million impact of working with Extension on production and marketing challenges. ROI = 67:1
  • The Alabama Green Industry Training Center taught employment skills to 1,051 landscape contractors and employees. These employees have successful careers as small business owners and landscapers.

Crop Production

  • Soybean rust monitoring resulted in 5% reduction in fungicide inputs saving Alabama soybean producers $459,000 at a cost of $29,000. ROI = 15:1
  • 1,120 plant samples analyzed by the Plant Diagnostics Laboratory network saved Alabama agriculture $2,201,920 at a cost of $536,253. ROI = 4:1
  • A 3-year program on managing herbicide-resistant weeds in cotton and peanuts has allowed Wiregrass farmers to save a total of $2,412,581 across 152,695 acres. ROI = 9:1
  • 96 crop farmers explored the use of cover crops to increase soil health and reduce erosion on more than 10,000 acres
  • Iron chlorosis on high pH Black Belt soils reduces soybean yields. A variety trial evaluated varietal differences among common soybean varieties. Use of the top varieties would result in an additional $100 per acre in gross revenues across the 11,200 acres of Black Belt soybeans resulting in additional $1,170,400 revenues. ROI = 172:1

Farm and Agribusiness Management

  • 15% increase in Rainfall Index Insurance Policies for Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage with a 25% increase in acres covered because of Extension risk management programs. $25 million in Alabama’s livestock industry protected against drought in 2019.

Food Safety and Entrepreneurialism

  • 73 food nutrition labels developed for Alabama food products tested in the Auburn Food Product Laboratory. ROI = 133:1
  • 1,094 food service employees passed the Food Safety Certification Training and increased their salary by $5,700 per year. Stakeholder ROI = 229:1

Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources

  • 675 landowners reduced wild pig damage on 321,000 acres saving $1.6 million in damages to crop and forestlands. ROI = 176:1
  • 2,399 participants learned about watershed management and 725 certified volunteers collected 3,368 water data records from 211 water bodies with a value of $1,696,608. ROI = 9:1
  • 1,122 adults and 484 young people learned to manage invasive plants on 3.5 million acres saving $441,000 in damage. ROI = 22:1
  • 632 employees of Alabama towns avoided $512,750 in consultation and contract fees through the ALA-TOM Program. ROI = 17:1
  • 100 ForestHer participants who manage 13,000 acres of forestland reported a positive impact of $9.5 million in forestland improvements. ROI = 633:1
  • 115 forestland managers learned to use low-cost geospatial and unmanned aerial systems to improve forest inventories and reduce costs. Collectively, they reported $180,000 in cost savings. ROI = 34:1
  • 2,000 homeowners requested advice on backyard wildlife management.
  • 13 Management Minute video segments were produced with Buckmasters TV show and viewed by 40 million subscribers.

Home Grounds, Gardens, and Home Pests

  • 10,585 young people and adults were educated through Water Wheels Conservation Lab, a mobile water conservation classroom. As a result of water conservation efforts, ninety-seven 60-gallon rain barrels were installed. Participants conserved 350,000 gallons of water. Alabama utility companies charge consumers an average of $32.80 per 5,000 gallons of water, so participants saved an estimated $2,296 in water utility costs. ROI = 44:1

Pest Management

  • 51,000 Alabamians learned about household pest management with 85% now willing to adopt IPM practices.
  • Residents of 58 public housing units educated on household pest control. $9,795 pest treatment costs saved.
  • 260 pest control operators attending pesticide education programs reported a training value of $795.45 per attendee. ROI= 7:1
  • Farmers involved in season-long cotton and soybean insect IPM efforts reported an average economic benefit of $19.74 per acre across a total of 145,111 acres resulting in $2,864,515. ROI = 13:1


  • Two poultry processors who harvest 40% of Alabama’s broilers able to improve animal welfare by using controlled atmosphere stunning tested by Extension specialist.
  • 9,528 acres of cropland tested to manage phosphorus application from poultry litter.

Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

  • 4,394 pounds of over-the-counter and prescription drugs were collected from three prescription drug drop boxes and 12 drug take-back events and diverted from public landfills or waterways. 65 out of 386 post-delayed surveys from participants in Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceuticals in the Environment indicated:
    • 71% stopped throwing unwanted medicine in the trash.
    • 57% participated in local drug take-back programs.
    • 75% kept pharmaceuticals locked away from children and teens.
    • 54% purchased drugs in smaller quantities.
    • 72% were able to protect the environment from pharmaceutical drug contamination. ROI = 26:1


  • 386 adults participated in E-Waste Institute. 41,999 pounds of e-waste collected from seven e-waste drives and curbside recycling that kept 93,253 pounds of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere. This equates to 15,820 gallons of gasoline conserved; 3,595 trees saved; 135,149 recycled plastic bottles at $1.98 per gallon ($31,324); and 621,687 aluminum cans at $.40 per pound ($7,771). ROI = 325:1
  • 1,105 pounds of printer cartridges recycled through the small electronics recycling.

Nonpoint Pollution

  • 478 Urban Environmental Science Education Program young people learned the impacts of nonpoint pollution; the importance of natural resource conservation and pollinators; and the benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling discarded waste.

Human Sciences

Successful Aging Initiative

  • 4,898 were reached through the Successful Aging Initiative. Post-assessment surveys revealed that 1,040 adults completed an advance directive at an average cost of $150 for total savings of $156,000. ROI = 359:1

Family Advocacy

  • 396 Family Advocacy Through Caring Engagement Strategies participants completed the 4-lesson series, while 231 participants completed a post-assessment as follows:
    • 98% spent more time with family members.
    • 91% worked to make family relationships stronger.
    • 90% identified factors that caused them stress.
    • 88% practiced stress management strategies.
    • 86%used negotiation skills to deal with family conflict.
    • 85% resolved conflict without feeling unheard or hurt.

Family and Child Development

  • 9,107 young people from 26 schools learned harmful effects of using e-cigarettes, vaping, and hookahs. 32% of teens reported increased confidence to avoid nicotine products.
  • 2,786 teens demonstrated skills to communicate about complex issues because of antibullying programs conducted in 17 counties.
  • 7,841 adults increased their parenting skills because of parent education programs conducted in 51 counties.

Consumer Sciences and Personal Financial Management

  • 1,802 participated in Promoting Readiness for Employment Possibilities (PREP) activities while 286 completed the entire PREP series. 126 participants completed the post-assessment surveys that revealed the following:
    • 49% used a resume created in the program to obtain employment.
    • 93% chose the appropriate dress for an interview.
    • 85% answered questions appropriately in job interviews.
    • 81% completed job applications via paper and 63% electronically.
    • 52% revised their resumes.
  • 343 Making Money Count participants completed the entire 4-lesson series and 36% completed the post- assessment survey. As a result:
    • 91% made fewer impulsive financial decisions.
    • 88% tracked their spending.
    • 81% used a spending plan.
    • 80% reduced their use of predatory lenders.
    • 397 applied for a credit report for the first time.
    • 176 were trained on how to effectively use the debt elimination program PowerPay.

Family Resource Management

  • 2,580 adults increased knowledge of banking, credit, financial decision making, and budgeting through family financial management programs.

Workforce Development

  • 1,648 who participated in programs promoting employment readiness significantly improved their interview, dress, and job search skills.

Human Nutrition

  • Volunteers harvested 2,709 pounds of vegetables from 9 community gardens. Produce was valued at $3,788 and provided 15,111 servings of healthy vegetables to the communities.
  • Consumers in 49 counties who were exposed to 197 billboards with health messages reported increased fruit, vegetable, and water consumption compared to those not exposed to the billboards.
  • 2,239 third graders who participated in a 15-week nutrition program significantly increased vegetable consumption compared to a control group. Likewise, parents of these children also increased vegetable consumption compared to a control group of adults.
  • 592 expecting mothers learned to maintain healthy diets and weight during pregnancy to minimize low birth weight babies. The cohort had an average birth weight 1.6 pounds above the low birth weight threshold of 5.5 pounds.
  • 733 adults completed CHAMPION sessions and 75% increased physical activity from 10 to 20 minutes per day to 30 minutes per day. Post-delayed surveys among 362 adults indicated that 43% ate two or more fruits and 66% consumed two or more vegetables daily.
  • 2,758 Urban Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (USNAP-Ed) adults and 3,581 young people completed the lessons.
    • Adults increased their intake of grains by 15%, daily protein servings by 12%, and plain water intake by 12%.
    • 3,581 USNAP-Ed youth increased their intake of fruit by 26% and their intake of vegetables
      by 21%.
    • 2,758 USNAP-Ed adults increased their coupon use and purchase of sale items by 16%, increased their use of a shopping list by 19%, and increased their reading of nutrition labels by 23%.
    • 622 pounds of fruits and vegetables were harvested from school and community USNAP-Ed gardens for a cost savings of $1,517. ROI = 177:1
  • 102 adults and 276 youth participated in the Urban Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
    • 193 chose more nutritious foods based on dietary recommendations.
    • 113 improved their physical activity and 152 improved food handling practices.
    • 97 adults ate more fruits and vegetables, drank less soda and other sugary beverages, and cooked dinner at home.
    • 87 adults improved their physical activity by expanding workout time, building and strengthening muscles, or making small changes to become more active.

4-H and Young People

4-H Enrollment

  • 178,884 total enrollment (34% minority)
  • 51,217 total club membership (11% increase)
  • 30,495 high school participants
  • 3,111 total clubs
  • 729 total schools served (49.5% of schools; 591 Title 1 schools)
  • 175,049 hours given to 4-H by 8,907 adult volunteers; equal to 88 full-time employees

Lifelong Impacts

4-H’ers are 4 times more likely to give back to their communities, 2 times more likely to make healthier choices, and 2 times more likely to participate in STEM activities. (Data from Tufts University, 2010)

4-H graduate survey indicated the following:

  • 99% learned how to act professionally.
  • 98% identified things they were good at.
  • 93% explored career options.
  • 85% have a better idea of what they might do after high school.
  • 62% researched colleges.
  • 66% learned about colleges that would be a good fit.
  • 71% spent 1 hour or more a week on 4-H activities.

Activity Areas

  • Animals and Agriculture
  • Leadership
  • STEM
  • Outdoor Education
  • Arts and Healthy Living

Urban 4-H Youth Development and Volunteerism

  • 1,037 urban youth completed the Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture/Arts & Mathematics program.
  • 69% felt that studying science was fun.
  • 51% improved knowledge of conducting science experiments.
  • 44% reported an interest in pursuing STEM-related careers.

779 youth completed Teens Making Impact lessons and health and nutrition education through the Technology Enhancing Exercise and Nutrition (TEEN) program.

  • 39% engaged in physical activity for 30 to 60 minutes a day.
  • 34% ate fruit instead of cookies or cakes for a dessert.
  • 25% were more knowledgeable about choosing a career.
  • 37% engaged in two or more community service projects.
  • 830,000 steps were logged by 665 TEEN students who burned an average of 488 calories each.

4,218 young people completed 10 hours of Health Rocks! lessons. Post-assessment data revealed:

  • 96% stated they would help other youth stay away from alcohol and other drugs.
  • 96% would resist smoking if offered a cigarette.
  • 93% understand that illegal drug use affects relationships with family and friends.
  • 89% stated they would talk a friend out of using drugs.
  • 95% have goals and felt good about themselves.
  • 89% are aware that drugs cause delusional behavior.

Economic and Community Development

1,071 urban young people completed Career Countdown series with the following results:

  • 61% explored new career opportunities.
  • 68% applied for college.

11,900 clock hours were donated by volunteers enrolled in Volunteer in Urban Programs at a total value of $293,811.

FY18 Financial Data

ACES Leadership Team

Gary Lemme, Extension Director

145 Duncan Hall, Auburn University

(334) 844-4444 | glemme@aces.edu

Allen Malone, 1890 Administrator

124 Dawson Building, Alabama A&M University

(256) 372-5710 | aam0057@aces.edu

Paul Brown, Associate Director

145 Duncan Hall, Auburn University

(334) 844-4444 | pbrown@aces.edu

Celvia Stovall, Associate Director

118 Dawson Building, Alabama A&M University

(256) 372-5710 | ces0038@aces.edu

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