Both the Owen and Clay Purdue Extension offices now have IP video capability. Owen County recently received the technology thanks to grant funds from the Boston Scientific Foundation. What does this mean for Extension programs locally? Foremost, for the first time ever one won't need to buy $3 gas to travel to another county to attend numerous programs. Secondly, we can offer more unique programs locally that may not draw a large crowd but is still important. Prime example we are currently offering a bee keeping program that has ten people enrolled.
We could not have justified a specialist from campus to come out this far for ten people. We can justify the program though for eight different locations around the state to interact with one another while reaching nearly 100 people through all of the IP video sites. The neat thing about this technology is that the programs are live and one can interact with numerous people in several locations. During an organic production program a couple months ago, 36 sites representing five states were participating.
There are many different topics and educational opportunities offered through the IP video system. There are horticultural programs where one can learn about pruning, fruit trees, turf, gardening, insects, weed control, etc. A session for beef producers to assist with coping with the forage shortage and tight hay supplies occurred last fall. Commodity marketing program series are currently underway. Future event examples include grant writing workshops, perennial gardening, private applicator, lawn weed id-control, forestry/arborist and ag programs specific for women.
At the risk of sounding like I am making the statement, "Hi, I am from the government and I am here to help you!" the local Extension office would like your help so that we can serve you better. We have decent databases for beef producers, gardeners, private applicators (row crop producers), nature enthusiasts, and in Owen County there is a good list of individuals interested in pond management. However many could be added to these existing lists so that the office could inform you about programs that would be of your specific interest.
Other topics like organic production, small farm programs, new ventures, bee keeping, alternative energy, fruit trees, woodland owners, etc we have very little database info for folks interested in these programs.
If you have interest in specific program topics, please call the office and inform us of your interests so we can add you to our database list and know what is relevant to you. With good databases, we will be able to let you know about events and we will know to enroll in events that are relevant to more folks. Arming the local Extension office with this information will also help with program development ideas that are not IP video related as well. We will never give your information to anyone else and will only seek to mail or email you info for events that pertains to your interests.
You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 829-5020 Ext. 14 in Owen County or 448-9041 in Clay County for more information or publication copies regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Please call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While most publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.
Feb. 13-16 National Farm Machinery Show, Louisville, Ky.
Feb. 19 Southwest Indiana Crop Clinic, Jasper, 8 a.m.
Feb. 19 Blood Drive, Extension Office, Spencer, 3-6 p.m.
Feb. 19 Clay SWCD Annual Meeting, Fairgrounds, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 20-21 Women in Ag Conference, Columbus, Ind.
Feb. 23 The Sensual Garden, Greencastle, 8 a.m.
Feb. 26 Starting Bee Keeping, Session two of four, Spencer, 6:30 p.m.
March 4 Regional Dairy Meeting, Rockville, 9 a.m.
March 13 Ag Day Dinner, Brazil, 6:30 p.m.
April 2 Starting a Community Kitchen, Indianapolis, 8 a.m.
April 8 Bi-State Forestry Workshop, Beef House, 6:30 p.m.
April 12 Sheep Shearing School, Greencastle, 9 a.m.
April 24 Starting a Specialty Food Business, Indianapolis, 8 a.m.