[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 52°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 44°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What exactly is Extension?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Extension can play an important part in your life if you chose 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, which 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 the information gained at these stations was 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 over time, 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, Health and Human Sciences (formerly Consumer and Family Sciences) and Economic and Community Development.

Educators with 4-H collaborate with teachers on school programs, conduct after school programs and organize numerous workshops. The program 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.

Two ANR programs coming up that you can sign up for include the Master Grain Marketer Clinic starting Jan. 17, or the Master Gardener Program beginning in February.

Health and Human Science (HHS) 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.

HHS Educators also offer a variety of lessons and demonstrators to the various Extension Homemaker groups around Indiana.

The final program area is Economic and Community Development (ECD).

To date, this program areas 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 more 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, then 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. 2 -- Extension Office closed, holiday,

* Jan. 5 -- 2012 Illiana Vegetable Growers' School, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., CST, Schererville, Ind., Cost is $20 to register by calling 219-755-3240,

* Jan. 16 -- Extension Office closed, holiday, and

* Jan. 17 -- Start of the Master Marketer Program, Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall, 7-9 p.m.

Cost is $20 fee.

For more information, call 448-9041.

Register by Jan. 10.