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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What exactly is Extension?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

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 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. Later, the Hatch Act established Experiment Stations.

However, in the early 1900s, it was realized that the information gained at these stations were not getting distributed.

That is why in 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Cooperative Extension Service initially was solely 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.

Youth Educators in 4-H collaborate with teachers on school programs, conduct after school programs and organize numerous workshops. In addition, 4-H is associated with developing life skills and career development. However, it is important to note that a successful 4-H program cannot occur without the help of numerous adult 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. One of the next opportunities to get involved with an ANR program is to sign up for the Landscaping Program Jan. 29, or to sign up for the Purdue Master Gardener Course in Owen County (information for both are listed in the upcoming programs below).

Consumer Family Science (CFS) Educators provide programs on healthy eating, physical fitness and Alzheimer's. They also work with youth on understanding how to read food labels and developing healthy eating habits. CFS Educators also offer a variety of lessons and demonstrations to the various Extension Homemaker groups 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 our programs.

So as you think about organizations you might want to become a 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 or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Jan. 17 -- Extension Office closed,

* Jan. 25-26 -- 10th Heart of America Grazing Conference, Louisville, Ky. Cost varies. Call 448-9041 for more information by Jan. 14,

* Jan. 28 -- Indiana Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum, Indianapolis. Go to www.indianasoybean.com/forum for more information,

* Jan. 29 -- Landscaping Program, 9 a.m.-noon, Clay County Extension Office. Register by Jan. 14 by calling 448-9041, and

* Feb. 1 -- Purdue Master Gardener Program begins, 6-9 p.m., Owen County Extension Office. Cost is $75. Register by Jan. 14 by calling 812-829-5020.