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National eXtension announces awards

Dan Cotton, eXtension director, who has been instrumental in the creation and development of eXtension (pronounced E-extension), received a champion award at the organization's first national conference.

eXtension, www.extension.org, is an online source of objective, research-based and credible information from land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System.

Cotton, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, became eXtension's first director in 2004. He has built a dedicated virtual staff, engaged thousands of Cooperative Extension workers and has presented eXtension to local Rotary Clubs to the high echelons of university presidents and the U.S. Congress.

eXtension has grown from eight pioneer communities of practice to nearly 50 groups of specialty experts. Cotton worked to build a handful of Cooperative Extension employees as ID holders to nearly 12,000 and seen the website grow from hundreds of page views to millions.

eXtension also announced its first national awards recognizing outstanding partners, as well as individual and team achievement. HorseQuest was recognized for innovation and leadership in its respective area of expertise.

The equine group helped develop some of the initial eXtension processes and mentored other university experts in ways to reach the general public. The HorseQuest experts created information for the entire equine industry from new horse owners to professionals working to support the equine industry.

The leadership group includes Kathy Anderson, UNL equine professor and UNL Extension horse specialist.

Awards were presented on the final day of eXtension's first national conference Oct. 20 to 23 in St. Louis.

eXtension is an educational partnership of more than 70 land-grant universities helping Americans improve their lives with access to timely, objective, research-based information and educational opportunities. eXtension currently has 25 resource areas on the Web at www.extension.org.

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