University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension: New name, same services

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
UW Extension

Except for changing over to UW-Madison colors on the Extension website and logos, services will go on as normal for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension - the official name of the former UW-Extension. 

As of this July 1, Extension has fully transitioned to UW-Madison from UW System. The transition has been in the works for more than a year and has involved a lot of significant behind-the-scenes work. 

"It’s a change in our name and the individuals are now employees of UW-Madison as opposed to UW colleges," said Jeff Hoffman, area extension director. "There is no change to our programming." 

Extension is returning to its historic home at UW-Madison, where UW-Madison and Extension can strengthen each other through exchanging experience and research statewide.

"We've always had a great relationship with CALS(UW-Madison-College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)", Hoffman said. "Now we have a closer partnership with the professors of the Madison campus."

As a land-grant institution, University of Wisconsin was the original home to Extension services and research. Three years after espousing the Wisconsin Idea, UW President Van Hise established the University Extension Division in 1907, and UW-Extension was created as a separate unit in 1965.

The UW Board of Regents adopted a resolution in 2017 to restructure Extension as a division of UW-Madison. After a lot of transition planning and operations, this transition is fully complete and fully active as of July 2019.

"We think it’s going to be a huge benefit to have all of those resources and the variety of research that’s going on in Madison, which is immense," Hoffman said. "We are just hitting the tip of the iceberg of the potential of these partnerships. I think it’s a hugely beneficial thing."

Extension’s mission is to bring the world-class knowledge and skills of UW-Madison researchers to communities across the state. Even before the official transition, they were bringing together experts and community partners to collaborate on new ideas for research and resources on opioid addiction and water quality, according to an Extension press release. 

"We deliver educational programming to support critical issues affecting quality of life and economic development. Our county educators are working in areas such as family, youth and community development, agriculture, health and well-being, and natural resources." the press release said. 

For questions about these changes or any Extension programming, email

The new URL for Extension’s home page is:

Carol Spaeth-Bauer at 262-875-9490 or Follow her on Twitter at cspaethbauer or Facebook at