Written by: Ashley Best Newton County ANR Agent/ CEC
As a new extension agent, I want to take some time to discuss what extension is, what it does and what it means to me. I have always been interested in this as a career, but felt that teaching was my higher calling. When this opportunity arose, I started doing more research about extension. In the end, I have discovered that through extension I can still teach, interact with youth and dive deeper into my passion of agriculture.
Extension was conceived from the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 and for over 100 years has been providing vocational, agricultural, and home demonstrations across America. Extension is a partnership between the federal, state and county governments that ensures the needs of communities are met. Agents continue to work with producers in face-face workshops as well as with online media and meeting outlets. UGA specialists produce many publications that are shared with the public and can help everyone from home-owners to large scale farmers.
“UGA Extension faculty and staff play a key role in the success of this industry by sharing university-based research for Georgians to use on the farm and at home. Recommendations in areas including soil fertility, pest management, plant and crop varieties, water quality, and herd health and management focus on maximizing production and profits while minimizing environmental impacts. Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agents also provide homeowners and communities with information on lawn care, landscaping, gardening and water conservation through a variety of workshops. Some agents also work with schools on projects like community gardens and farm-to-school programs. Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers give thousands of hours of service to their communities by answering questions in county offices and creating educational opportunities.”https://extension.uga.edu/about/our-programs.html
To me, extension is a way to share what agriculture is today. As the University of Georgia is developing new technologies and research in agriculture, it is my responsibility to provide that information to the growers and farmers in my county. Agriculture is so much more then the plows of days gone by. This is my chance to educate the general public about the efforts made by farmers and producers to maintain sustainability, conserve resources and create a safe and better product. Agriculture is still Georgia’s top industry and it is time to get back to our roots. People of Newton County need to know where their food comes from and the toil it takes to be in agriculture. Through farm and home visits, I strive to get to know the community. I form trusting relationships that will guarantee direct savings to farmers and agribusinesses. Thousands of diagnostic tests are performed each year through extension agents by the University of Georgia to help increase the productivity of growers. Be sure to check out our services page so we can help you increase your productivity.
Call, email or check out the social media pages of your Newton County Extension office today!