Leadership and Outreach

The Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program (TUCEP) maintains a rich tradition of serving limited resources and underserved audiences. In the tradition of the leadership of Booker T. Washington and the original Integrated Research/Extension carried out by Dr. George Washington Carver, TUCEP seeks to bring cutting-edge approaches to 21st Century problems in Alabama. Although outreach work is carried on throughout the state, TUCEP’s primary target areas are clientele in the Black Belt region of the State.

The focus of outreach and educational services consists of six program areas as follows:

  1. Global Food Security
  2. Natural Resource Conservation, Environmental Sustainability, and Climate Change
  3. Community Resource Development
  4. Family, Home, and Youth
  5. Nutrition and Wellness
  6. Food Systems and Food Safety

County Agents, Coordinators, Resource Specialists, and Faculty contribute most of their time towards meeting specific needs of the people in the communities they serve through our Traditional Extension Projects, Integrated Extension/Research Team Projects, and Applied/Participatory Research. These unique services are delivered by conducting a series of in-service training activities, small group meetings, educational workshops, camps, and site demonstrations that use curriculum-based information.

A number of conferences such as the Farmers Conference (FC), the Booker T. Washington Economic Development Summit (BTW Summit), and the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC) are also held every year to support these educational programs.

Emerging Leaders

Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program (TUCEP) congratulates Dr. Lindsey Lunsford who was selected as one of the Top 20 Emerging Leaders in the Food & Ag for 2020 Awards. Dr. Lunsford was part of the first cohort to receive her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Integrative Public Policy and Development (IPPD) at Tuskegee University.

The Emerging Leaders in Food & Ag Awards are designed to honor up and coming leaders from across the food industry and to highlight the amazing work and dedication of the individuals that will lead us into a new future in food and agriculture.

“I feel grateful for everything now,” said Lunsford. “I realize more that you cannot take anything for granted. I finished my dissertation during the beginning of the pandemic and that was so hard. God had a hand in working everything out for me.”

She is a legacy for Tuskegee University. Her family has over 33 degrees earned from Tuskegee, and she is the first Ph.D. graduate of the University.

Dr. Lunsford’s work while in school has helped her secure a job at Tuskegee University, which is why she received her award. She is currently a Sustainable Food System Resource Specialist within the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center (CISC) and TUCEP in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in food systems.

Extension and Outreach

She is working to make sure that the Extension and Outreach is relevant for future generations and to increase the impact of Small Farmers on their surrounding communities of consumers and vice versa—work that is aligned with the mission of the CISC Center of Excellence. Part of Lindsey’s work is funded through a grant Tuskegee University received from the USDA/NIFA for the Center of Excellence in Sustainability of Small Farmers, Ranchers, and Forest Landowners in the amount of$1.6 million.

The funds Tuskegee received were part of FY 19 Federal Appropriations Bill for $4.8 million initially supporting three Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land Grant Institutions. The Centers of Excellence goals are to increase profitability and rural prosperity in underserved farming communities; address critical needs for enhanced international training and development; and increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STEAM) pipeline.

The Centers of Excellence at Tuskegee University include:

  • Alabama Center for Nanobio Science and Sensors (NSF-EPSCoR)
  • Carver Integrative Sustainability Center (CISC)
  • Center for Advanced Materials (T-CAM)
  • Center for Biomedical Research (NIH-RCMI)
  • Center of Information Assurance Education (DHS)
  • Center for Research Excellence in Science & Technology (NSF-CREST)
  • George Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station (Land Grant – USDA)
  • National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care (NIH)
  • NUCOR Education and Research Center (NERC)
  • REACH – Road from Early Achievement to a Career-High (T-CAEIL)

Contact: Jacquelyn Carlisle (, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences

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