Updated: September 20, 2021

About the EXCITE Program:

The Extension Foundation, in cooperation with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, through an Interagency Agreement with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are funding the Cooperative Extension System to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities. This initiative is called the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement (EXCITE).

The EXCITE program serves all Land-grant universities through two sets of activities: system-wide engagement with the CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence communication campaign (Activity 1) and selected adult immunization education pilot projects (Activity 2). 

Activity Information

Activity 1 Goal 

  • The purpose of this project is to provide education to people so they can better understand and feel more comfortable with vaccination, especially the COVID-19 vaccination Through social media and outreach engagement activities we are encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We will also be working to learn  what health messages resonate with Marylanders who have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. 
  • Project Period: June 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022
  • People We Serve: Seniors, people with diabetes, farmers, farmworkers, low-to-moderate-income families, food banks, schools, recovery communities, homeless, refugees, and immigrants

Activity 2 Goal 

  • The University of Maryland Extension has teamed up with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension to help address adult vaccination hesitancy and other barriers keeping communities and people in Maryland and Delaware from getting the vaccination. We will be working with people from rural counties in Maryland and Delaware to learn what kind of education and support they need. We will use what we learn to create and adapt education to fit their needs and then test the programs to make sure they work well for people in the community. Through this process, we hope to assess vaccine hesitancy, access and acceptability as well as providers’ confidence in answering questions about the COVID 19 vaccine and community level changes in vaccine access and acceptance.
  • Project Period: June 1, 2021 – May 31, 2023
  • People We Serve: Agricultural workers (ages 18-60) who work on farms, ranches, and other production agricultural worksites in Maryland and Delaware.
EXCITE activity 2 timeline

Background Information

Agriculture in MD - is the LARGEST industry with 12,429 farms in 2019

Agriculture in DE - is a LARGE industry with 2,302 farms in 2017

Many agricultural workers are immigrants or migrant workers - at risk for COVID-19 because they:

  • Work close to each other
  • Live in shared housing with low income
  • Have limited access to transportation and health care
  • Have poor health outcomes

 Agricultural workers are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19

 Agricultural workers face challenges when it comes to getting vaccination like:

  • Lack health insurance and access to medical treatment
  • Barriers with language, transportation, and visa status.

Vaccination rates among Latino or Hispanic individuals much lower compared to White counterparts


Our Team

University of Maryland

  • Jinhee Kim

  • Lisa H. McCoy

  • Carrie Sorenson

  • Crystal A. Terhune

  • Laura Wormuth

  • Darren Jarboe

  • Ali Hurtado

  • Jenny Rhodes

  • Amara Channell Doig

University of Delaware

  • Sarah Goldring

  • Gina Crist

  • Katie Young

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