Both the Owen and Clay Purdue Extension offices now have IP video capability. Owen County received the technology thanks to grant funds from the Boston Scientific Foundation about a year ago.
What does this mean for Extension Programs locally?
Foremost, for the first time ever, one won't need to buy expensive 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 was a beekeeping program that had 10 people enrolled in 2008. One could not have justified a specialist from campus to come out this far for 10 people.
However one 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 last year, 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 commodity marketing program series are planned for five weeks starting the last Tuesday of the month called "Managing Margin Risk" for grain producers.
Other event examples include grant writing workshops, perennial gardening, private applicator, lawn weed id-control, forestry/aborist 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 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 information for folks interested in these programs. If you have interest in specific programs topics, 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 area not IP video related as well.
We will never give your information to anyone else and will only seek to mail or email you information 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. It is always best to 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.
Jan. 8 -- Growing for Market (5 Thursday series), Bloomington, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 12-14 -- Indiana Green Expo, Indianapolis
Jan. 13 -- Forestry Class-8 week evenings, Martinsville
Jan. 19-21 -- Hort Congress, Indianapolis
Jan. 21-22 -- Heartland of America Grazing Conference, Columbus
Jan. 21-22 -- Midwest Organic Conference, Indianapolis
Jan. 26 -- Clay Extension Advisory Council Annual Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 -- Managing Margin Risk-5 Tuesdays (Brazil and Spencer) 7 p.m.
Jan. 29 -- Efficient Landscaping, Beef House, 6 p.m.
Jan. 31 -- Owen SWCD Annual Meeting, Tix 829-2605, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 14 -- Business Management for Horse Stables, Noblesville, 8:30 a.m.
Feb. 19 -- Clay SWCD Annual Meeting,4-H Fairgrounds, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 27-28 -- Indiana Cattle and Forage Symposium, Indianapolis