Rural Arizona continues to witness a decline in the importance of the primary resource extraction industries (e.g. agriculture, logging, mining) and an increase in service-sector employment. In addition, Arizona's economy has for several decades now been heavily dependent upon real estate development and construction. The consequences of that imbalance became apparent during the recent recession and the years of slow recovery that have followed.
The University of Arizona is the Land Grant University for the state of Arizona and the home to Arizona’s Cooperative Extension, which is a department within the UA’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. While UA Cooperative Extension has no specific sustainable living education program, it does have a full complement of outreach and educational programs in natural resources, agriculture, community and economic development, youth development and family, consumer and health sciences.