(Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor! Let’s join Kyle and Alicia Boor for an update on the misconceptions about what Extension is and how it helps producers.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer from Great Bend, Kansas, Barton County. I have the opportunity to visit with Alicia Boor. She is one of the Extension Agents in Barton County. Alicia, can you explain to me what people have misconceptions and perceptions about Extension? (Alicia) One of the things that I think that sometimes people don’t readily think of is that we are taxpayer funded, which means that by paying your taxes in your county, that goes to our salaries and our building and being able to keep our lights on. Anytime somebody calls in, I’m the Ag Agent so that means I am in charge of the horticulture, any trees or forestry, any crops or livestock. Then that means that if you have a question I can answer it for you and get university backed research and information from specialists or their research papers. That doesn’t cost you any more. It is all through what you have already paid with your taxes. (Kyle) And they should feel no guilt with using your time or your expertise because that’s the reason it is taxpayer supported. (Alicia) Correct. We are there to answer your questions. We say, basically, ask us anything. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it. Between myself and my other two agents that are in the building together we cover basically as much as we possibly can that the university would cover. So, if we don’t know the answer, we can find you the answer. (Kyle) Now, Barton County is not in an Extension District, but yet from place to place in the state of Kansas, we will hear about Extension Districts. Can you explain that concept a bit? (Alicia) Extension Districts are basically two or more counties that work together to allow to specialize for the agents. So, instead of, if I was in a District, I would not be the ag agent, I may be the crops agent. Or I may be the livestock agent. It allows us to specialize a little bit more to better help the community because we would know the answer right away. (Kyle) Extension Districts are becoming more common? (Alicia) Yes they are. They found over the years that Extension Districts just work better because of the specialization. If you are trying to answer questions on several different areas, you spend a lot of time doing the research to find that answer, which is no problem at all. But if you know the answer, you can generalize your approach. You can make your programs go a little bit more in tuned and you can have better programs on a specific subject rather than covering several subjects. (Kyle) We’ve been visiting with Alicia Boor. She is the Extension and Extension Agent from Barton County. This is Kyle Bauer reporting from Great Bend.
(Jamie) Folks, stay with us after the break – Kyle will be back with Wendy Johnson and the new app available to producers called MyFields.info.