Press-Republican

Columns

October 16, 2011

Ag technology expanding

When I started work as the Clinton County Extension agriculture educator, I moved into an office already well stocked with books, fact sheets, binders and reference materials of all kinds.

File cabinets were full of the history of local agriculture, recommendations of experts long since retired and many years of accumulated knowledge. As the educational outreach arm of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension has been delivering the latest in research-based agricultural knowledge to New York farmers for 100 years.

But as agricultural research has evolved, so has its delivery method. No longer does information filter down to producers via weighty manuals or annually produced pamphlets, today's agricultural information travels at the speed of light via the Internet.

With the advent of the new technologies, farmers have often been slow adopters, sometimes by virtue of the relative distance from information centers, other times because resistance to change in the past has been the norm. As farmers become larger and require more information to operate profitably, new ways of doing things have become more acceptable.

Gone are the days when a farmer would call the county extension agent for answers to routine questions; now they can surf the net from a smart phone right from the tractor seat and find all sorts of information, some good and some not so good.

One of the drawbacks of random web searches is the abundance of poor information. A recent development in Cooperative Extension outreach is the web-based resource eXtension.org. A partnership of 74 universities, eXtension.org is an interactive learning environment offering researched-based knowledge from experts at institutions across America.

Professional educators from all over the country join together in this online community to develop resource areas for their field. Farmers researching just about any topic can use eXtension.org to find good quality information, ask questions of extension experts, search newsletters from around the country and watch archived webinars.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Treating corporations like people

    Problems arise in many areas when businesses take on the attributes of individuals as mandated by the court, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time