The success of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service relies on the active participation of Kentuckians in carrying out programs.  The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Council System involves local people and Extension staff together to ensure an effective Extension program. Through the system of County Extension Councils, local people work with Extension agents to determine individual and community needs, identify and appropriate available resources, and set and act upon goals. The Council System helps develop Extension educational programs that reflect the ever changing situations in which Kentuckians live and work and the diversity of citizens in our counties. 

The County Extension Council is an organized body of volunteer leaders. They counsel with agents and help identify issues and community needs, give support to develop, carry out and evaluate non-formal educational programs that contribute to a county’s social and economic development. This organization works with the county Extension staff to attain the identified purposes and perform the specific functions that follow.

The primary mechanism for securing input in the support and direction of local Cooperative Extension programs will be with the County Extension Council. County Extension Councils are critically important to the Cooperative Extension Service’s ability to provide locally relevant educational programs as a grassroots organization. Strong County Extension Councils are the essential link with citizens and their program and educational priorities. The Council System is also vital as the Cooperative Extension Service strives toward its Vision, Mission, and Strategic Goals, which were determined with participation of council members, program participants, and community leaders throughout the state.