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Monday, May 2, 2016

Purdue Extension's impact

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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 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 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 of Extension are: 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Health and Human Sciences and Economic and Community Development.

Educators for 4-H Youth Development collaborate with teachers on school programs, conduct after school programs and organize numerous workshops.

Some of the goals related to this program area are to help youth develop life skills, get prepared for school and career development.

However, it is important to note that a successful 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.

A couple of the next opportunities to get involved with an ANR program is to sign up for the Master Gardener Program and Annie's Project (Farm Management Education for Women).

Information about programs are listed below.

Health and Human Sciences (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 demonstrations to the various Extension Homemaker groups around Indiana.

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

To 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 and to participate in our programs.

As you think about organizations you might want to become involved with, think about becoming involved with Extension.

We welcome 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. 15 -- PCARET Luncheon,

* Jan. 15 -- Indiana 4-H Scholarship Deadline and National 4-H Congress Application due,

* Feb. 12 -- Start of Master Gardeners, 6-9 p.m. Cost is $115. Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 to sign up, and

* Feb. 19 -- Start of Annie's Project, 1-4 p.m. Cost is $75.

Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 to sign up.