What is cooperative extension?
by Lisa Jones
The West's extension agents cover some ground:
They counsel Colorado wheat farmers whose crops are being nibbled
by antelope, broadcast advice on pest control over the radio waves
in Washington's apple country and help farm kids raise prize
calves. They distribute press releases with titles like: "New Crop
Year Should Include Personal Stress Management," "New Videos Offer
Tips on Controlling Gophers and Ground Squirrels," "Fat-Free
Doesn't Mean Calorie-Free" and "Hog Cutback."
Cooperative Extension was formed by Congress in 1914 as an adjunct
to the land-grant university system. Do-everything county agents
and regional specialists - which together number about 1,500 in the
West - often consult university researchers to answer local
questions. The two systems were mandated to help rural people stay
productive and prosperous. They are funded by a combination of
federal, state and county funds.