Community Development

The Extension Institute of Community Development provides educational programming to assist leaders, communities, and organizations realize their fullest potential. We work with communities to build the vitality that enhances their quality of life and enriches the lives of their residents. We educate in leadership development, organizational development, food systems, community economic development, local government education and much more. In short, the Community Development Institute plants and cultivates the seeds for thriving communities and organizations.

Community Development Programs

Did You Know

Many people already know of our popular programs, but did you know that we also:


Upcoming Events

Community Development Publications


No-Box Thinking: navigating Change Resistance in Small Town America

The Learning Store produces and distributes educational materials based on university research, extending knowledge to the statewide community.


Featured Publication

No-Box Thinking offers a framework for understanding the automatic and powerful resistance to change those engaged in community development often face. This book details how to convert the powerful sources of community change resistance—identity, emotion, and social connections—into powerful forces for transformational change (105 pages; 2018).

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Find Your Local Office

Extension experts live and work in the communities they serve. Our team offers insight and solutions based on a deep understanding of local needs and priorities.

Find your local office



A Part of the Agriculture, Natural Resources & Community Development Program Area


Extension’s Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Community Development creates a bridge between Wisconsin’s ag and the environmental resources with the people that use them. We help producers, farmers, and businesses build stronger and more diverse farm and food systems. With communities and regions, we work hand-in-hand to support land and water resource needs.


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Director – Community Development Institute


Benoy Jacob


432 N Lake St Rm 627
Madison, WI 53706-1415


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