Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County celebrated a century of service last week at our annual meeting and dinner at the Malone Golf Course Clubhouse Restaurant.
One hundred years is a very long time. Yet, surprisingly, many within our community do not know who we are. Nor do they recognize all that we do to assist and improve the lives of thousands of people in our region. That lack of recognition exists even among many whose lives have been touched by their participation in services we provide.
Extension has long been associated with agriculture, agricultural research and the distribution of research-based agricultural information. And indeed, we remain that today. But our focus is expanded. Our vision encompasses learning and education that is community based. And we’re working diligently to improve our county’s economic, environmental and social conditions concentrating on quality of life and the critical issues that affect daily living.
All are welcome to call, email or walk into our offices any day of the working week to set up an appointment, ask for educational materials or bulletins, be placed on one of our mailing lists or request our services, which are often provided without charge.
We offer educational information and programming based on research from Cornell University and other educational institutions, all of it intended not just to increase agricultural profitability but to enhance consumer horticulture and gardening, develop the character and competence of youth, strengthen individual, family and community resources and improve nutrition and health.
While a number of the people I speak with are familiar with 4-H, many don’t realize 4-H is the youth education and development branch of extension. Our 4-H programs, for youth 6-18 years old, provide recreational and learning opportunities in dairy farming, horsemanship, arts and crafts, community service, citizenship and leadership. They work with other kids and adults, make new friends, share common interests and discover new places.