A 2020 report values the annual economic and functional benefits of Illinois Extension at over $603 million, about ten times the $60.9 million annual budget of the university unit. With a mix of federal, state and local funds, both public and private, Extension provided nearly 50,000 educational program sessions in 2019, an average of 960 sessions per week, and made 1.3 million educational contacts at 3,800 locations throughout Illinois.
Illinois Extension leads public outreach for the University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions and adapt to changes and opportunities. Communities are directly served by Extension staff in 27 units located throughout Illinois.
Operating in all of the state’s 102 counties, more than 1.5 million Illinois residents take part in Extension programs each year. Extension’s programs are developed and adapted to meet local community needs. Popular programs include 4-H youth development, Illinois Nutrition Education Programs, Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteer programs, local government education programs, education for farmers and agribusiness and workforce development.