National Extension Tourism Network

NERCRD and the National Extension Tourism Network (NET) have a longstanding partnership, with NERCRD providing substantial staff support to the network since 2018. This page provides a brief historical outline of the ways in which NERCRD and NET have partnered over the years. More information about NET is available on the NET website:

2018-2019: Conference-planning and national survey support

In 2018, NERCRD began providing conference-planning support to NET ahead of its 2019 national conference, which took place in Astoria, OR.

2020-2021: Webinar series launch and strategic planning support

Building on the momentum of the 2019 conference, NET and NERCRD co-launched the NET webinar series in February 2020, which was designed to provide programmatic examples from both the Sea Grant and Land Grant networks to a wide audience.

In March 2020, NERCRD and the other RRDCs sponsored a strategic planning retreat for NET’s leadership, and NERCRD Director Stephan Goetz attended. The facilitated retreat resulted in NET’s first strategic plan (pictured at right).

2021: The beginning of a tremendous period of growth

2021 marked the beginning of a period of tremendous growth for the NETwork. In addition to the successful planning and delivery of the 2021 National Conference that took place in Savannah, GA, NET and the RRDCs carried out a national survey process from 2017 to 2019 to catalog the tourism and recreation programming being conducted by U.S. Extension professionals, resulting in a report, pictured at left and available here. The NET Design Team and NERCRD also partnered on a New Technologies for Agricultural Extension accelerator project, which ran for 18 months (through February 2023) and resulted in numerous outputs, including:

The NET Effect is a 57-page publication that contains eight case studies exploring innovative Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant work in sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation. It features work being done in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.

NET logo and marketing materials: With design services provided by the Extension Foundation, NET developed a new logo and display materials to accompany a marketing campaign that included tabling at several national conferences. 

To increase access to the impactful work presented at NET’s 2021 Conference, NET and NERCRD leveraged the NTAE project resources to develop NET’s first conference proceedings. Learn more here.

2023 to present: Ongoing conference and communications support

With the NTAE project concluding in February 2023, NERCRD began winding down the level of support it had been providing in order to allow the NETwork to pursue more sustainable long-term organizational stability. However, NERCRD continued to provide conference-planning support through the 2023 NET Conference, which took place in Milwaukee, WI, and where NERCRD’s contributions to the NETwork were recognized with an award. NERCRD also continues to provide communications support to the network by co-chairing the NET communications committee, hosting the NETwork listserv, and managing the NET website.

Funding Agency: NERCRD's support of this effort is funded by its grant from USDA NIFA. The NTAE project was funded by USDA NIFA through a partnership with Oklahoma State University and the Extension Foundation.

Principal Investigator: Current NET Chair: Xinyi Qian, University of Minnesota Extension

Start Date: June, 2018