Who Is Extension?

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I am often asked in the community, “what do you do?” or “who do you work for?”  When I answer North Carolina Cooperative Extension, I generally get the deer-in-headlights look! We often joke that Extension is the best kept secret in the county, but we don’t really like that joke. We want everyone to know who we are and what we do. This will be my attempt to let the secret out of the bag!

North Carolina Cooperative Extension is based at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University. We are truly an “extension” of these universities, located in all 100 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. N.C. Cooperative Extension is a partnership of county, state, and federal governments working together to provide the citizens of North Carolina with the knowledge needed to improve their lives.

Here in Robeson County, that knowledge is available in a variety of ways. We have seven agents, three program assistants, and three support staff members who are literally at your fingertips. Not only are we available to assist you one on one, we are also available through E-mail, our website, blogs, informational materials in a variety of formats, workshops, tours, Facebook, Twitter as well as through a good, old-fashioned phone call.

N.C. Cooperative Extension offers programming and research-based information in three main areas – agriculture, food, and youth. Agriculture continues to be the greatest economic indicator in the county, but the average age of a farmer in Robeson County hoovers around 58. This needs to change! If agriculture is to continue to be strong in our county, we have to get young people involved. They need to understand the importance of agriculture and local foods. That is why every agent in our office strives to have a youth component in their programming efforts to educate youth in the areas of agriculture and food. Whether we are teaching a citizen the importance of growing food, caring for livestock, cooking food, eating food, or preserving food, food is essential. The healthier we can make it, the better.

There is also one other resource available that you may not be familiar with if you have not visited our website – the Ask an Expert feature. With this Extension resource, county residents can submit questions, via the county Extension website, at any time of day or night. Ask your questions to receive personalized answers from Extension experts. Our field faculty and specialists have expertise in agriculture, food, forestry, community and environmental issues, youth development, family and consumer sciences, and gardening. Questions are answered via E-mail (generally during business hours). Of course, residents who need information are still welcome to call or visit the Robeson County Center during business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.). The online resource just adds another avenue to our information and provides convenient access to Extension experts.

To access Ask an Expert, our event calendar, recent articles, meet our staff, and much more, visit the county Extension website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu. For more information, please contact Christy Strickland, County Extension Director with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Christy_Strickland@ncsu.edu, or visit our website. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.