Cornell Outreach: Dyson Extension Programs Offer Opportunity for Growth

Agriculture and its link to the food supply chain is serious business in New York. With 35,000 farms across 7.8 million acres, food production for the local and global markets is an important sector in the state’s economy. As a land-grant institution, Cornell University has a legacy of leveraging its academic resources for the greater good of farms, fields, and food.

At the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, we contribute to agriculture-related organizations and issues in many ways. Broadly referred to as Dyson Extension, these outreach efforts include educational programming, research, and policy analysis oriented toward stakeholder issues in agriculture and food systems.  These primary Extension activities are dedicated programming for stakeholders off campus. The ability to involve students in those Extension activities is a clear distinguishing feature of Dyson.

Aligned with Dyson’s “Our Business is a Better World” vision, these Extension programs also impact communities well beyond New York State.

Professor Todd Schmit speaks into a microphone.

Dyson Extension: Areas of Faculty Expertise

Faculty expertise, along with evolving market needs, drives the initiatives and opportunities found in Dyson’s agricultural Extension programs. Affiliated faculty members and associates have a broad range of professional experience and research interests, including: 

  • Agriculture and food policy 
  • Dairy markets/policy
  • Farm management
  • Fruit, vegetable, and specialty crops
  • Human resource management (labor/immigration)
  • Land valuation/trade policy 
  • Retail food industry 
  • Rural development
Two men speaking outdoors.

What Does Extension Mean to Dyson?

All across Dyson, faculty members use their expertise and innovation to address pressing societal issues—and our Extension programs are a prime example of this commitment to doing business for good. This educational outreach not only provides a service to the greater agricultural and food system industries but also sets the Dyson academic experience apart from other business schools.

Further, Dyson Extension is connected to Cornell’s land grant mission and often collaborates with other broader campus initiatives involving faculty, staff, and students from various units in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Human Ecology, and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).

Farm to Fork: Dyson Extension Benefits the Entire Food Supply Chain

A family farm in Ithaca. A national grocery store chain. A global non-government organization (NGO) focused on food access. Farmer-owned marketing and supply cooperatives, and customer-owned food cooperatives. The work we do impacts a variety of stakeholders in many meaningful ways:

Our Students

An important aspect of our overall undergraduate development program, Dyson Extension allows students to work closely with faculty mentors and industry partners through research, project-based courses, service work, internships, and more.

The Business Community

We provide tools, resources, and professional development opportunities to start-ups, established businesses, cooperatives, NGOs, and other organizations from within industries such as dairy farming, specialty crop producers, food processors, and retailers.

The Industry at Large

Original faculty research helps inform agricultural and environmental policy at the local, state, and federal levels. It also has a broader impact: The discoveries, solutions, and ideas developed here also benefit and advance farmers and food suppliers around the world.

Cornell Outreach: Dyson Extension Offerings

Dyson Extension programming ranges from individual workshops and industry conferences to nutrition education and advocacy initiatives. It encompasses research centers, academic courses, and campus-based agencies.

Here’s a look at how students and industry partners can get involved with Dyson’s agriculture and food system Extension programs:

Blueberries being harvested.

Cornell Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP)

Collaborative business models range from local buying groups to Fortune 500 companies. Cornell’s CEP focuses on agriculture- and food systems–related cooperatives and associations. Whether you’re looking to establish a new business collective or need help managing an existing member-owned organization, CEP likely has a resource or upcoming event you’ll find helpful.

CEP also benefits Dyson students with access to internships, industry events, and courses designed around collaborative enterprise.


A man works on a laptop in a field.

Cornell Agribusiness and Rural Development Program (ARDP)

This Cornell agricultural Extension is committed to helping agribusiness firms of all sizes succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. ARDP resources and programming focus on topics such as management, marketing practices, alternative business structures, and inter-industry characteristics that affect policy, performance, and economic development. Dyson AEM majors can also concentrate in agribusiness management.

A person filling out tax forms with a calculator, laptop, and binders.

Cornell Tax Schools

Led by farm and small business experts, Cornell Tax Schools help accountants, consultants, and attorneys better understand their clients’ tax preparation needs—these programs also fulfill CPA- or IRS-required continuing education requirements. In addition to two-day workshops and special seminars, the minds behind the Tax Schools also conduct original research that furthers the industry.


A man passionately giving a speech.

Food Industry Management Program

Dyson’s Food Industry Management Program (FIMP) is a leading source of scholarly research on food retail and manufacturing; it’s also home to rich educational programming for students and industry executives. Dyson AEM majors can also concentrate in food industry management.


Farm machinery in a field.

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development is dedicated to developing the people who feed our local families—and the world. Part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), this robust program provides a wealth of professional development and regulatory resources for farm and agribusiness employers and workers: employment trends research, labor law information, leadership training, recruiting and onboarding guides, just to name a few.


Additional Extension Programs at Cornell and Dyson

From local crisis assistance to nationwide movements, Dyson Extension programs also include valuable services, resources, and learning opportunities such as:

A man and woman in baseball hats pose in a greenhouse.

 NY FarmNet

With a mission to help New York State farms navigate transition, opportunity, and challenge, FarmNet provides free, confidential, on-farm consulting to any farmer, farm family, or agribusiness employee in the state.

A man kneeling in front of a cow writing on a clipboard.

Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis (DFBS)

The DFBS project helps NY-based dairy farmers make sound business decisions and set future goals by providing a clear picture of their current financial situation.

Milk in a store’s refrigerator case.

Dairy Markets and Policy

This collective of faculty experts from several land grant universities provides tools and resources (such as milk futures and dairy margin coverage data) to decision-makers.

Dyson Extension Faculty and Associates

Dyson Extension programs are fueled by the intellectual curiosity of brilliant scholars and practitioners—and they are supported by dedicated associates, specialists, and staff members.

Students sitting in a tiered classroom listening to a professor.MEET DYSON FACULTY

Todd Schmit headshot

“I offer opportunities to my undergraduate advisees and students to conduct applied research with me and, where suitable, involve them in my Extension programming activities. For graduate students, involvement in Extension activities and engaging with industry, agency, and government stakeholders is an expected part of their graduate program.” Todd Schmit, Professor at Dyson

Getting Involved: Student Opportunities with Dyson Extension Programs

Dyson undergraduate and graduate students can participate in agriculture Extension programs in several ways (sometimes for college credit or pay) including:

  • Internships and fellowships
  • Research assistantships
  • Independent research projects
  • Campus employment
  • Extension-affiliated courses
  • Service-learning experiences
  • Short-term study trips (domestic or international)

The first step to getting involved is usually a conversation with your advisor, a faculty mentor, or a specific Extension program contact. You may also peruse the many resources and program websites linked on this page to find open opportunities.

Ready to ‘Extend’ Beyond the Classroom?

Dyson Extension programs are just one of the many ways learning extends beyond the classroom. If you’re looking for an applied economics and management education that puts innovation and community engagement front and center, we encourage you to learn more about applying to Cornell Dyson.