Promoting collaboration among Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. agricultural and rural development advisory services

The North American Agricultural Advisory Network (NAAAN) is a network of stakeholders in agricultural advisory services.

NAAAN links agricultural extension communities with one another and with stakeholders within Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. NAAAN connects with counterparts in other countries through its membership in the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS). GFRAS connects and supports regional agricultural advisory service networks around the world, and serves as a platform for networking, learning, knowledge sharing, and advocacy for agricultural extension programs and service providers.

Mission statement

The NAAAN is a North American platform among advisory services organizations, including government extension services, that promotes and supports innovation, knowledge utilization, and information sharing across rural and urban landscapes in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. NAAAN will share North American best practices and facilitate learning from global best practices.  

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NAAAN Mapping Study and Report 

For the summer of 2021, NAAAN is conducting a survey with over 500 participants to better understand the agricultural advisory/extension landscape within Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Survey results will help the NAAAN to better understand agricultural training, agricultural education, and agricultural advisory/extension services and needs across North America. Information from the survey will inform the future support and focus areas of NAAAN and the work we do collectively across the three countries. A full NAAAN Mapping Study and Report will be released later in the year to support NAAAN next steps.

Our roots

NAAAN FOCUSES ON INFORMATION SHARING AND WELCOMES ITS PARTNERS TO:

  • Build upon existing extension and advisory services to bring best practices into collaboration
  • Provide a forum for discussion of agricultural extension
  • Build and expand relationships with shared learning and programming 
  • Expand opportunities for extension practitioners and stakeholders to have more exposure to the richness and diversity of the North American experience
  • Accelerate information sharing in a changing environment for food production and food security

CORE FUNCTIONAL AREAS

In accordance with the work of GFRAS and other regional networks, NAAAN will focus on the following core functional areas for its work.

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KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT

Support discussions and analysis to strengthen the technical and empirical grounding of agricultural advisory services in conceptual frameworks.

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NETWORKING

Create expanded contact and closer relationships between NAAAN stakeholders in North America and with counterparts throughout the world.

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POLICY ADVOCACY

Develop and utilize lessons from research, analysis, experience, and discussion to create policy briefs related to agricultural extension, which will underpin advocacy with program leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

Governance and programming

A NAAAN Steering Committee representing member countries and institutional stakeholders will provide strategic guidance to the NAAAN Secretariat and programming activities. The committee has nine members: one ex officio, and two committee members from each country.

NAAAN’s Secretariat was established in 2019, and is hosted by the Colorado State University System office.

KEY THEMATIC AREAS

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BIODEFENSE & MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL DISASTERS

Diseases, climate change, and natural disasters threaten agricultural systems and economies. Advisory services can coordinate responses and help mitigate risk.

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IMPROVING SOIL & WATER MANAGEMENT

Soil and water management are fundamental aspects of productive agricultural activities. They are also critical elements in the mitigation of, and resilience to, climate change.

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BUILDING SKILLS & CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR YOUTH

NAAAN is building on the existing work of groups to prepare the next generation of leaders in global agriculture, including work with Together We Grow and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development.

NAAAN partners

Need more info? Download the brief or email naaaninfo@colostate.edu to learn more and to get involved.