Some may say that Extension is "Only for Farmers" or "Only for 4-H". Even worse still, some may say, "Never heard of Extension!" But the truth is that OSU Extension is a valuable resource in the community for SO MUCH MORE than the old stereotypes people may have heard about. Those in the know may have found Extension through one program area, such as a Master Gardener Volunteer Program, or because they were in a 4-H club as a youth, but there are other resources at OSU Extension that many do not even realize are available.
Extension is composed of 4 main program areas:
- 4-H youth development is more than just "cows and cooking." It's about people. Youth ages 5 to 19 who participate in 4-H are exposed to opportunities and experiences that enhance their lives, give them skills, and develop them into leaders. 4-H is not just county fair or camp, it's the journey that takes place and the relationships built with fellow club members, advisors, volunteers, staff, counselors, and themselves! Youth can receive an informal education in: leadership, public speaking, community service, technology, natural sciences, and more.
- Family & Consumer Sciences was once thought of as the "home economics" program, but it has well outgrown that antiquated notion. FCS aims to provide Ohioans with the resources, knowledge and tools that will promote healthy lifestyles and strong families. Here in Medina County, the mission of FCS is carried out through programs such as youth financial literacy, nutrition and food safety education, and workplace wellness promotion. FCS teaches practical life skills for people of all ages. In addition to providing community education, FCS is available to provide unbiased answers to your questions about healthy living, finances, and family life.
- Community Development enhances community, neighborhoods, and businesses by building partnerships. Through these partnerships with existing departments and entities within the community, CD educators apply cutting-edge research, knowledge, and innovations to help improve local economy, atmosphere, and enhance the impacts in the community.
- Agriculture & Natural Resources has also grown beyond the "farm agent" stereotype. ANR educators help provide research-based information and educational programming to the community that help improve profitable and sustainable agriculture, clean and healthy environments, & stewardship of Ohio's natural resources. ANR educators also help homeowners with questions about wildlife, landscape, gardening, horticulture, insects, & pests through their work and also through the training and coordination of the OSU Master Gardener Volunteers of their county who expand the reach and impact of the educator.
Extension is YOUR community connection to the resources and information of the entire land-grant university! Staff provide outreach and education to the community, assist in finding resources, answer questions, provide opportunities, and partner in the community. Each educator for these program areas specializes in topics based on their educational background and interests. If your question is outside that specialization area, educators know how to find the person who knows and help connect you to the right source. Ohio State University is home to faculty and staff in all fields. We have Extension Offices in EVERY COUNTY ready to help.
So the next time you think Extension isn't for you, give us a call! Our Mission is to engage people to strengthen their lives and communities through research-based educational programming.