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Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

Budget Information


OSU Cooperative Extension adjusting to budget reality

A staple in Oklahoma for more than a century, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service has a presence in all 77 counties and is a cooperative effort among federal, state and local governments. The goal of its dedicated county educators, along with area, district and state specialists, is to develop and share research-based programs that help all Oklahomans solve local issues and concerns, promote leadership and manage resources.

Programming includes increasing opportunities for agricultural enterprises; natural resources and environmental management; food, nutrition, health and safety education; and youth, family and community development.

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offices across the state are funded primarily from state, federal and county dollars. Additional funding comes in the form of grants, with a portion also coming from fee-based programs.


Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Budget Information

December 2018

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) is funded primarily from state, federal and county government, with additional funds from grants and a small amount from fee-based programs. Below you will find information about the budget revenue sources, along with graphs explaining where the funding originates.

  • Salaries and benefits typically account for about 88% of the OCES budget.
  • In 2018, 64% of the budget came from state funds with about 16% from county funding and 16% from federal appropriations
    (Figure 1).
  • Federal appropriations have been virtually flat over the last two decades.

Service Revenue


State Funding

  • State funding has been cut by 24% in the last five years, leading to annual shortfalls of about $2 million for the past three years and dwindling reserves.
  • State funding has decreased about $10.5 million since FY09.
  • OCES state funding comes from the legislature to OSU through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. A specified percentage increase or decrease for higher education results in an equivalent increase or decrease for OCES.


Local Funding

  • At the local level, OCES funding is allocated and approved by county commissioners and budget boards. The amount contributed varies significantly from county to county. Some counties have chosen to invest more in a local Extension presence through additional funds for contractual services to add personnel beyond what is possible with OCES funds. 31 counties have earmarked sales taxes for Extension, with varying parameters.
  • Previous implementation of a four-year plan with county government to promote additional investment has increased revenues from the counties to support local personnel. However, many counties are not in the plan, therefore the impact has been limited. County contributions increased about $1.6 million since FY09.


Building Toward the Future

  • We are evaluating how to better staff within our budget constraints, which means fewer personnel within OCES over time. Faculty numbers have been reduced 33% in recent years along with a 25% reduction in area specialists. Northwest and Southwest Districts were consolidated to form a Western District, eliminating one administrative position and district staff positions. We now have only two district program specialists for Family & Consumer Sciences. Vacated positions are not automatically refilled at any level.
  • Additionally, OCES will work to grow revenues. An OCES Excellence Fund has been added to for charitable contributions. Donors may consider endowments to support Extension initiatives perpetually. Grantsmanship that helps fund personnel, along with growth in fee-based programming, are expected.


For all media inquiries, please contact Oklahoma State University Agricultural Communications Services at 405.744.4065 or email

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078