Remarkable transformations in Brazilian society are requiring a new kind of professional to face the emerging demands of a diverse, innovative, technological, and integrative agriculture and rural milieu. Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, as institutions for preparing people to work in agricultural education, agricultural research, and rural extension, are challenged to redesign their practice and lead a movement to foster strong partnerships between themselves, agricultural schools, agricultural research and extension institutions. The emergence of the National Forum of Extension’s Vice-Chancellors of Brazilian Public Universities in 1987 heralded a new era to foster changes from the universities’ stand points. Such a Forum put extension in a prominent position into Brazilian public universities, as well as enforced the university’s tripartite mission - teaching, research, and extension. The new characteristics emerging in the Brazilian rural milieu and Boyer’s (1990) concept of scholarship are the background used in this study to build a conceptual model linking agricultural education, agricultural research, and rural extension.
Keywords: Extension System, Agricultural Education, Challenges, Rural Milieu, Mission