Extension helps YOU!
- Extension Helps Create Tomorrow's Leaders
- Extension Helps Build Job Security
- Extension Helps Communities Manage Resources
- Extension Teaches Youth
- Extension Encourages Family Well-Being
- Extension Assists Communities with Sustainable Agriculture
Extension Helps Create Tomorrow's Leaders
The mission of Extension's "Public Service Education Program" is to encourage better government through education. The program offers certification classes to elected public officials. To date, 67 New Mexico officials have earned their certified public official designation after completing 18 three-hour classes in topics such as knowing your government, public policy, leadership, and ethics in the workplace.
4-H Ambassadors and Diplomats gain resume building experiences through state and county government activities. The 4-H Ambassador and Diplomat programs empower teens with the knowledge, skills, and training necessary to become effective community leaders and citizen volunteers. Since 1944, many of today's leaders have come through the ranks of 4-H Ambassadors and Diplomats.
Partnerships increase tourism dollars with Extension's hospitality trainings. In twelve counties, small business employees are trained on how to talk with tourists addressing the age-old question, "What is there to do around here?" Training results indicate that participants have gained useful information, making them more valuable employees while providing an economic service in their local community.
Extension Helps Build Job Security
Lea County Home Economist Robin Baker has taught hundreds of residents, managing on a tight budget, how to turn sewing, quilting, and craft projects into profits. "Foot in the Door" programs teach budget management, the value of purchasing quality equipment, and how and why to shop locally.
Extension agents working in partnership with local organizations over the past fifteen years have led to the creation of 50 New Mexico farmers' markets. When shopping at a local farmers' market, consumers get the atisfaction of supporting locally grown agriculture, purchasing high quality foods, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Extension's TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) & Food Stamps Program offers a wage-earning model for unemployed New Mexicans. The program teaches potential employees the customs and routines of work, the importance of establishing an employment record, and how to generate references. Since 1998, 120,000 unemployed New Mexicans have participated in the program and 48,000 have succeeded in securing employment following program participation.
When the New Mexico Legislature funded the Extension viticulture position in 2006, expectations were modest. However, in the past five years New Mexico's wine industry and revenues have doubled in size. Vintners give much of the credit to Dr. Bernd Maier, Extension's Viticulturist. Dr. Maier works tirelessly making at least 60 site visits per year advising vintners on site and varietal selections, canopy management, trellising, irrigation, pruning, and harvest timing. Vintners report that with Extension's help, New Mexico wineries are gaining in national reputation and stature.
Comparing Grant & Contract Production to Federal Appropriated Funds, NMSU CES & AES Rank 6th Among all Fifty States.
Extension Helps Communities Manage Resources
When your dog appears ill, you call the vet. When your tree, shrub, or crop looks ill you can submit a plant specimen to Extension's Plant Diagnostic Clinic through your local Extension agent. An accurate diagnosis of a plant's pests or diseases is needed to avoid needless use of sprays and chemicals. An accurate diagnosis is the first step in developing economic, environmentally sound, and effective disease management strategies. On average 4,200 plant diagnoses are made annually from across the state at the request of people like you.
Community gardens are fun for young and old. In five New Mexico counties, public gardens provide Extension agents with teachable moments and public awareness of xeriscaping, water conservation, weed management, soil analysis, pest management, and healthy eating. Last year, after garden participants harvested what they needed, two Extension community gardens donated 8,150 lbs of produce to local food banks.
For a third year, Extension is providing trainings to nearly all New Mexico tribes and pueblos to encourage water resource planning, policies, and conservation. Demonstrations are provided that show how to increase water quality and reuse gray water for domestic and agricultural use. Over 200 tribal members have attended these trainings. This coming year the tribes and pueblos have requested training on how to handle droughts.
Extension is New Mexico's front line responder in natural and man-made emergencies in partnership with the NM Department of Agriculture. Agents help communities develop emergency management agriculture annex plans, guard against agro-terrorism events, respond to African bees, West Nile Virus, and a full range of plant and animal diseases, and actively participate in the NM Alert and Pandemic Flu Response Teams. Since its inception in 2005, the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center has trained more than 80,000 New Mexicans in 300 trainings.
Extension Teaches Youth
State-wide in 2010, 22,729 youth gained knowledge and skills related to agriculture, including animal science and horticulture; 55,969 gained knowledge and skills related to Healthy Lifestyle Choices including fitness, nutrition, safety and substance abuse prevention; 15,520 gained knowledge and skills related to Science and Technology including biology, computers, and electronics; 5,800 youth contributed to their communities through service learning and citizenship projects, contributing a total of 17,400 volunteer hours.
The Albuquerque 4-H program and the DEFY (Drug Education For Youth) program have partnered together for the past seven years. Offered at urban camp settings, 4-H & DEFY reach 300 4th through 8th graders each summer. The drug education collaboration has played a big role in offering positive programs to youth in lieu of time on their hands.
4-H Military Clubs have been established at White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base, and Cannon Air Force Base providing youth leadership opportunities, life skills learning, and community service opportunities.
Youth Entrepreneurship Summer Camp (YES) gives high school juniors and seniors the confidence and knowledge they need to create successful business plans. Teens bring technology, energy, and niche ideas to camp. In return, they learn the characteristics of a successful business, the rewards and challenges of entrepreneurship, and the experience of presenting their ideas to potential funders.
Extension Encourages Family Well-Being
Seniors in Los Alamos, Tucumcari, Santa Fe, and Roswell are regaining health, eating more sensibly, slimming down (average group reduction is 4 lbs/mo) and feeling more energetic following participation in Extension's senior exercise programs.
Twenty-five Extension "Keep Moving, Keep Healthy with Diabetes" classes are offered yearly to help diabetics exercise and eat well. The free program includes diabetes screenings, information about the relationship between exercise and diabetes medication, and exercise ideas for both mobile individuals and those with mobility problems. Since 2001, the number of New Mexicans who have completed Extension diabetes classes exceeds 12,500.
Over the past five years, an estimated 15,000 New Mexicans (adults and youth) have gained more control of their incomes with Extension's financial literacy programs. One program, "Jump$tart", provides a classroom curriculum empowering youth to make smart financial decisions, use financial tools, and learn ways to save money.
The New Mexico Department of Vital Records includes an Extension parenting newsletter enrollment form with every New Mexico birth certificate it issues. Since 1993, 47,597 families have received these free bilingual mail or electronic newsletters. The newsletters can be read by other family members; are received by "hard to reach" families; and help parents have realistic age-appropriate expectations for their children.
Extension Assists Communities with Sustainable Agriculture
NM producers are gaining knowledge and skills in financial planning and record keeping specifically designed for agricultural businesses. Of the producers reached last year, 98% reported recognizing the role and importance of financial planning for business success.
Assisting farmers and gardeners with over 50 significant specialty crops, Extension agents and specialists offer hundreds of plant clinics with 97% of participants reporting a willingness to adopt recommended strategies.
When the pecan nut case (PNC) pest began its assault in Eddy County in 2009, Extension specialists advised producers of appropriate actions via hundreds of newsletters, emails, newspaper articles, radio interviews, workshops, and onsite visits. The impact of PNC was minimal due to Extension's pro-active response. Less than 1% of the pecans were lost compared with a 12 to 23% loss when control measures were not implemented. Proper use of Extension's pest management program increases the gross revenue to county pecan producers by about $4M.
More kids visit zoos than farms today, so Extension is re-introducing farming to youth. Third graders in 16 counties attend "Agricultural Safety Day" to learn about farm and home safety. Fourth graders in 19 counties attend "Kids, Kows, & More Days" to learn where their food comes from.
Wind, drought, and freezes are easier to handle with Extension Master Gardener advice. Annually, Master Gardeners in 16 counties answer 30,000 landscape and plant questions, develop school garden programs, and contribute 170,000 hours of volunteer time, worth over $3,000,000, answering homowners' questions.