Tap Into Your Local Extension Services

Learn how to better utilize your local extension services and get answers to your agriculture questions, from pest management to health and nutrition.


| November/December 2017



extension booth

Utilize your local agricultural extension offices for anything from soil testing to farm and garden questions.

Photo by Darcy Cahill

For answers to most agricultural questions, many turn to their local agricultural extension service. Every state has one or more locations. Each extension office offers assistance to local individuals, communities, and organizations looking for answers to questions about pest management, health and nutrition, meeting federal and state food and safety standards, expanding their value-added products, and much more. Extensions exist to answer the most basic agricultural questions to the most complex, and they have a long history of helping farmers find ways to develop, expand, and sustain their farms.

Extension services in the United States began in the early 1900s as a way to support farmers and their families with science-based knowledge. Extension services have always maintained close ties to local universities with strong agricultural programs. Scientists and university professors at these universities offer their expertise on subjects ranging from agriculture, life sciences, economics, engineering, food safety, pest management, veterinary medicine, and other related disciplines.

If you’re unfamiliar with your local extension agency, this valuable resource can be found most often in courthouses, post offices, and other government buildings. The internet is a good source for tracking down the closest extension office to you. Go to www.Extension.org, and it will identify the location and contact information for each extension office in the U.S. Once you’re on the homepage, click on any topic in the “Resource Area” at the bottom of the page, then plug in your zip code. That’ll lead you to your nearest extension service.

This site is also a comprehensive resource for anyone from agricultural professionals to gardening hobbyists, and includes agricultural fact sheets, blogs, webinars, links to conferences, and research-based articles.

All extensions can be found in the phone book business pages under “Extension.” Whether a question is simple or complex, an extension specialist will find the answer.

Mary Peabody, a University of Vermont extension professor, says, “We live in an age where there is a lot of information available, and while that can be a great thing, it can also be a little overwhelming. It is also hard sometimes to know what information you should trust.” Peabody says that extension information is current, unbiased, and trustworthy. If there’s something you want to know about that isn’t being done at your local extension office, they know where it is being done and will connect you with ways to access that information.





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