We’ve lived all over the United States and a bit of time outside the country as well, and we’ve met a lot of great people from all walks of life in the process. However, one group of wonderful folks we really didn’t get to know before we moved out to our farm. Boy, have we been missing out!
These folks have been Godsends to us as we’ve muddled through small-scale farming, visiting us, training us, giving us advice, and even helping us teach our kids about agriculture.
How they get to all the things they do, I’m really not sure. As we approach the first year on our little farm:
- A forester has walked our woods with us to help us with our forest management plan.
- A poultry inspector has tested our flock as part of the NPIP.
- The office has tested our soils and made recommendations for improvement.
- We’ve received advice on garden management and care.
- We participated in a seminar on goat care (and are starting another 5-week series)
- In the next few months, we are attending clinics on fruit tree pruning, gardening, forages and pasture management, and more.
- We’ve pored over the volumes of information available on their website, and used some of their curriculum to supplement our homeschool program.
- All of our kids are immersed in 4-H activities ranging from animal sciences to riding to crafts.
I’m pretty sure there are things I’m leaving out. The bottom line is: EVERY one of these activities is supported to some extent (or entirely) by the county extension office, for a minimal fee if not free. This is all made possible by the superb staff as well as a huge network of volunteers they coordinate. We have been overwhelmed by how active and involved these people are and are indebted to them for their help.
Here is a video they produced to tell a bit more of what they do:
We have a long way to go at the Flying T, but we’d be much further behind without their support. So, we’re taking this time to say THANK YOU to Deb, Nancy, Dot, Tim, Mary, Amy, and all the rest of the unsung heroes at the extension office that do so much with so little!
How about you? Do you have an active and involved extension office, and how do you rely on them?