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Established 1908

Program & Research Units (PRUs)   arrow

What are PRU’s?

PRU stands for Program & Research Units. These are statewide Extension discipline-focused teams that organize collective work, establish campus & field programs as well as research plans to meet the needs of Coloradans. PRUs also provide accountability through reporting metrics to amplify the value of Extension in Colorado.


  • Identify issues and data to support local needs/demands
  • Create/update Plan of Work (POW) with outputs and outcomes and unit goals including DEI integration
  • Network field-based and campus-based Extension faculty
  • Develop, implement, evaluate, and report programs
  • Identify and disseminate best practices
  • Leverage OEE and campus resources to build quality, relevant programs and products
  • Quality control, peer review for content and materials
  • Timely and accurate reporting, including impact reports for local and national reporting
  • Provide relevant and timely professional development
  • Collaborate on research projects and grant applications CURRENT PRUs (AFTER FORUM)

Current Extension PRUs:

Each PRU utilizes work teams, issue-based groups allowing people to come and go as needed. Work teams are nested within and between PRUs focused on timely issues and program development/needs.

4-H and YouthTrent Hollister (interim)
Community & Economic DevelopmentPatti Schmitt, Dawn Thilmany, Heather Meyer, Willie Wilkins
AgricultureRon Meyer, Gus Westerman, Todd Ballard, Emily Lockard, John Ritten
HorticultureTony Koski, Deryn Davidson, Alison O’Connor
Food SystemsBecca Jablonski, Libby Christensen
Natural ResourcesBeth Hayes, Linda Masters 
Health & WellbeingSue Schneider, Christine Fruhauf, Sheila Beckley, Katie Seelhoff


Below are the 2022 ‘Issue Canvases’ outlining PRU’s medium- or long-term goals. Issue Canvases are intended to help PRUs clarify and communicate shared goals, ‘theories of change’ for how to achieve those goals, indicators of success (outcome indicators), and high-level plans for evaluation. This structure is under review and will be changing for FY24.

Agricultural business sustainabilityCropping Systems
Alternative cropping systemsCropping Systems
Business management for new & beginning farmersFood Systems
Capacity-building for community healthCommunity Development
Community connectednessCommunity Development
Community health indicatorsCommunity Development
Cottage foodsFood Systems
Cottage foodsNutrition, Food Safety, & Health
Diabetes managementNutrition, Food Safety, & Health
Diversity, equity, and inclusionCommunity Development
DroughtLivestock & Range
Ecosystem sustainabilityNatural Resources
Emergency managementCommunity Development
Emergency management for natural resourcesNatural Resources
Exceptional people, innovative practices4-H
Extraordinary opportunities for youth learning4-H
Family financial stabilityIndividual, Family, & Community Well-Being
Food insecurity in low-income familiesNutrition, Food Safety, & Health
Healthy aging (1)Individual, Family, & Community Well-Being
Healthy aging (2)Individual, Family, & Community Well-Being
Integrated pest management and horticultural diagnosticsEnvironmental Horticulture
Pest managementCropping Systems
Pollinator educationEnvironmental Horticulture
Power of youth4-H
Ranch analysis and planningLivestock & Range
Regenerative agricultureCropping Systems
Soil healthCropping Systems
Soil healthLivestock & Range
Strengthening the meat value chainFood Systems
Sustainable landscape managementEnvironmental Horticulture
Urban agricultureEnvironmental Horticulture
Youth access, equity, and opportunity4-H