Extension is part of a nationwide network of
community educational centers. It is based on the Federal Land-Grant concept
established in the early 1900's as a means of "extending" university
resources to our nation's
Every state has at least one land-grant university. Florida has two, the University of Florida and A&M University. At the University of Florida, Extension is located in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Every county has an Extension Service. Our local Extension Service is a cooperative partnership between the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida.
Extension provides non-biased, research-based information in agriculture, human and natural resources, and life sciences. Extension provides this information in a number of ways, including classes, seminars, printed and electronic materials, and consultations. Extension's educational programs are directed at broad national and state concerns, as well as issues specific to local needs.
Marion County's Extension program areas share significant common goals in helping citizens to conserve resources, protect the natural and home environments, and improve the quality of lives.
Programs vary from county to county, based on different needs. Marion County's Extension Service provides education in:
Youth development - through the 4-H program
Equine and livestock - education in production, efficiency, management, and marketing skills
Green Farm Practices - 'Best Management Practices' for horse and cattle farms.
Small farms - education in economic viability, improve knowledge of farm-related enterprises, and enhancement of desired rural lifestyle
Nutrition and wellness - health promotion, disease-risk reduction, health maintenance
Food safety - proper food handling
Sustainablity - education in protecting our water resources, promoting green-building practices, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources.
Commercial horticulture - educational outlet for commercial nurserymen, landscapers, turf managers, pesticide training, and assists in troubleshooting plant production
An Extension agent acts as a liaison between the land-grant University and their county's citizens to provide educational information within the agent's assigned program area.