The following letter is from Diann Barth, one of our newest Friends of the Greene County Extension. She joined at the Lawn & Garden show Saturday, February 16. After she joined, she was telling me about her experience with Extension and I asked if she would share it in writing. She has!
This story from Diann is what we all are working for. That includes the paid Extension staff and the volunteer members of Master Gardeners, 4-H and the Extension Councils throughout the counties, regions and state. George
It was a pleasure meeting you at the Lawn and Garden Show in Springfield last weekend. I am more than pleased to support the University of Missouri Extension efforts in Greene County by joining the new Friends of Greene County Extension.
As I indicated to you last Saturday, my family has a long, important tradition with the Extension efforts in rural Missouri. I grew up on a diverse farm in Lawrence county and I know that the success of our family farm was due in large part to the sound, professional advice given to our family by Extension agents.
My Dad relied heavily on the expertise he learned from our Lawrence County Extension agent. From getting annual soil tests to determine the best application of fertilizer and minerals, to getting advice on building a profitable beef herd, Extension was there with us the entire way!
My Dad consulted with our Extension agent on the type of crops to plant to minimize erosion and when there was a crop issue, our Extension agent helped with trouble-shooting and always provided needed answers. He worked hand in hand with the MO Conservation Department in developing proper terraces to prevent erosion on our farm and help plan for a large, water-tight pond so we could expand our beef herd to pastures where there were no wells. I remember quite well when my Dad started farming with no-till beans to protect the soil and when he started carefully planting double crops of wheat and soybeans–all with the careful guidance of our Extension agent. Our agent assisted with a sound crop rotation plan (always involving alfalfa!!) and with advice on the proper choice of pesticides and hybrid seeds. Our agent even assisted us with the choice of the proper grain storage system. Our farm, despite consisting of soil that was less than optimal, was very successful-all because of our continued involvement with Extension.
I first learned of the importance of supporting one’s community in the local 4-H club. My experience with 4-H molded who I am today–I learned leadership skills, cooperation with others, and effective meeting leadership all in my 4-H club. I quickly learned how meetings run and even some of the more formal meeting rules in Robert’s Rules of Order when I was only in third grade!!
I am a proud alumni of the University of Missouri and I know that, without my family’s successful farming operation I would not have been able to attend the University–so I continue to owe the Extension efforts even to this day.
Members of my family continue to go to seminars provided by Extension–even seminars on how to deal with issues as we age!!
In today’s fast-paced, changing urban world, I believe Extension is even more important than ever. I think every family should have a successful vegetable garden to promote healthy eating and self sustainability, farmers need sound advice on everything from crop and herd issues to financial maneuvering and young persons must be taught the importance of community support and involvement–all efforts carefully preserved by Extension! I hope Greene County’s Extension efforts can be increased in our area!!
What can residents who support the Greene County Extension, do to help?
Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, families, business and community development. Members of “Friends of Greene County Extension” contribute financially to make it possible for Extension to continue having a positive impact on the quality of life in Greene County, Mo. To learn how you can help go online to http://extension.missouri.edu/greene/giving.aspx or call (417) 881-8909. The Greene County Extension Center is located inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo. 65807