UNL Extension celebrates 100th year

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UNL Extension celebrates 100th year

UNL Extension work includes a variety of farm-related workshops. Extension opens a celebration of its 100th year on May 8.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Chuck Hibberd, dean of UNL Extension, issued the following editorial about the start of a celebration of UNL Extension’s 100th year. The celebration opened May 8. For more information about UNL Extension, click here.

On May 8, UNL Extension will celebrate 100 years of a proud legacy of building better lives for Nebraskans. Tied to UNL’s flagship research powerhouse, over 300 UNL Extension professionals every day help Nebraska citizens gain benefits from the research and teaching of our Big Ten university.

This week especially, we highlight the outreach portion of the University of Nebraska’s three-part mission of teaching, research and outreach. Extension educators are the university’s liaisons in every county, offering an engaging array of information, workshops and classes to members of their respective communities. For example, restaurants across the state rely on extension to provide food safety courses. Crop producers rely on extension to provide courses and certifications on safe use of pesticides.

UNL Extension is known for its research centers throughout the state that transfer the university’s research-based information to farmers and ranchers. Through the work of UNL Extension professionals, crop and livestock producers are saving thousands of dollars through the implementation of new efficiencies, and are realizing greater productivity through research-based improvements in decision-making and use of technologies.

As one vivid example, UNL Extension is a leader in applying new technology to maximize the use of every drop of water used to raise crops. Soybean producers are recording real-time soil moisture data, and using UNL research, are now able to calculate the exact amount of water to apply when during the growing cycle, thereby saving thousands of dollars on energy, and perhaps more importantly, conserving water.

UNL Extension also addresses food, nutrition and health education using resources such as http://food.unl.edu. Urban gardens are taking root in popularity and productivity, using information available through UNL Extension offices and the Master Gardener network. Extension’s popular “Backyard Farmer” program is in its 62nd season with many thousands of avid viewers.

The modern version of UNL Extension’s 4-H programs offer after school science programs to many of its 140,000 members in order to prepare them for academic success and careers in science, math and engineering. In Omaha alone, 28,000 young people are part of 4-H.

As has been the case for the past century, the UNL Extension mission of vividly delivering solid, research-based information and answers continues into the next century with a modern interpretation, incorporating new technologies. What has never changed is extension’s availability to every Nebraskan and its commitment to a better life for every citizen.

In the coming year I urge Nebraskans to go to http://extension.unl.edu, a trustworthy source of information and resources on wellness, food safety and nutrition, crop and livestock production, science education, early childhood education, youth development through 4-H, and more useful information from UNL.

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