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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Anyone can enjoy Extension

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Extension can play an important part in your life if you choose to let it.

Some of you may not realize that you have been impacted by Extension in some way. For starters, you may know someone or have a loved one who has attended or plans to attend Purdue University. Purdue is Indiana's Land Grant University that was established in 1862 under the Morrill Act and is deeply related to Extension.

The Hatch Act, that established Experiment Stations as a place for real world trials and comparisons to occur, was enacted in 1887. At that time, effort was made to link the Land Grant Universities to the Experiment Stations.

However, in the early 1900s, it was realized that the information gained at these two locations were not getting distributed to the common citizenry. That is why in 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Cooperative Extension Service initially was completely related to agriculture, but overtime, has grown to include four primary program areas that are used to help educate, promote, and provide services to local residents. The four primary areas are: 4-H Youth, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Consumer Family Science and Economic and Community Development.

Educators for 4-H Youth collaborate with teachers on school programs, conduct after school programs and organize numerous workshops. 4-H is associated with hundreds of projects in life skills and career development outside of the agricultural world. However, it is important to note that a successful 4-H program cannot occur without the help of numerous volunteers.

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Educators provide various educational opportunities for adults and youth through a wide variety of topics, including gardening, livestock care and maintenance, pesticide application and pond maintenance. The ANR Educator also serves on the county plan commission per state law.

They are available to answer many questions, which you might ask pertaining to insects, species id, plan disease and farm issues.

Consumer Family Science (CFS) Educators provide programs on abstinence, healthy eating, physical fitness and Alzheimer's. They also provide training that is required by food service workers. CFS Educators also offer a variety of lessons and demonstrations to the various Extension Homemaker groups in and around Indiana.

The final program area is Economic and Community Development (ECD). To this date, this program area has not made a huge impact locally, but is certainly needed and statewide Extension is seeking more resources for ECD. Currently, there are about a couple dozen counties that have Extension Educators who commit 20 percent or more of their time to the ECD program area.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to be impacted by Extension. Extension encourages minorities and underserved audiences to become involved with Extension and to participate in some of our programs. At the local level, an Extension Board elected by the local Extension Advisory County sets policy and helps to assure that Extension programming is directed to priority community needs and addresses underserved audiences through its plan of work.

Also, the local Extension Board and others help to oversee that the following statement is found on our program promotions: "It is the policy of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action Institution. This material may be available in alternative formats."

We also request that those requiring reasonable auxiliary services to contact our office in advance so that we might do our best in serving all audiences. So as you think about organizations you might want to become part of, think about Extension. We welcome community volunteers all the time since they are truly a treasured part of Indiana.

As always, if you have any questions pertaining to agriculture, home horticulture, or natural resources, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office by calling 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County. If you would like to contact me directly, I can be reached at either of the two numbers listed or via e-mail at smith535@purdue.edu.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Dec. 24-25 -- Office closed,

* Dec. 31-Jan. 1 -- Office closed,

* Jan. 14 -- Landlease Program with Clay, Owen, Sullivan and Vigo counties (Clay County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 6:30-8:30 p.m.),

* Jan. 15 -- Estate and Family Business Planning (Sullivan County Fairgrounds, 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Cost varies. Contact 812-268-4332 to register by Jan. 12),

* Jan. 18 -- Office closed, and

* Jan. 21 -- Landlease Program with Clay, Owen, Sullivan and Vigo counties. Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, 10 a.m.-noon.