Tuesday, December 8, 2015

#DidYouKnow About County Extension Offices?

Did you know that there’s a way for you to find information about gardening, agriculture, and pest control specific to your area? That instead of Google-ing “red spots on leaves” and ending up with answers more relevant to people on other continents, you can contact a local or regional office for how to deal with your very local problem?

County Extension Offices are a part of the Cooperative Extension System, a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by each individual state’s designated land-grant universities.

Basically, this means that agriculture, science, military science, and engineering research are done at these universities; the information found from that research is then shared with these extension offices so that farmers, gardeners, and other members of a region have access to locally relevant information that may affect their gardening and other daily life.

Traditionally, each county of all 50 states had a local extension office. The number has declined as some county offices have consolidated into regional extension centers. Today, there are approximately 2,900 extension offices nationwide. Each office is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control. Today, extension offices work to:
  • -Translate science for practical application,
  • -Identify emerging research questions, find answers and encourage application of science and technology to improve agricultural, economic, and social conditions,
  • -Prepare people to break the cycle of poverty, encourage healthful lifestyles, and prepare youth for responsible adulthood,
  • -Provide rapid response regarding disasters and emergencies

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “the hallmarks of the extension program - openness, accessibility, and service - illuminate how cooperative extension brings evidence-based science and modern technologies to farmers, consumers, and families...Further, these services improve the lives of consumers and families through nutrition education, food safety training, and youth leadership development.”

Sound familiar? We at communEATi brought you this little blog of information about County Extension Offices because these offices provide a service, not only for your garden, but for communities in each state and/or region. Extension offices start and keep a conversation going between local agricultural experts and community members, similar to how communEATi wants to build a bond between community members, growers and consumers alike. At communEATi, we firmly believe that by starting the conversation about our food, one of the most basic of human necessities, we can help to build stronger ties in communities and grow healthier as a whole.

And if you’d like to be a part of the conversation, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook and continue keeping up with our blog. We’re glad to have you with us!

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