Extension puts knowledge to work for Webster Countians

By Lisa Stewart, Extension
County Director
Webster County

Your county Extension Service provides leadership and coordination
for the total county Extension educational effort in agriculture and
natural resources, family and consumer education, 4-H youth
development, and enterprise and community resource development.

One of the many responsibilities is to facilitate the activities,
programs and events that make up the total Extension program.

This whole process begins with needs assessment, prioritizing these
determined needs, implementing the programs and finally evaluating
the results. Results should then be used to document changes both
positive and negative. This information should also be used to
continue, end or make positive changes in future programming efforts.

In Webster County, every effort to be sure that programs are based on
both the felt and unfelt needs of clients. I have established various
advisory groups, utilized individual comments, and integrated daily
office requests into the needs assessment process. Each fall a list
of requested programs and information is compiled. This list is
updated each year.

Group meetings and mailed information are utilized to make sure this
list includes a diverse cross section of programs and activities.
Feedback from these meetings is then used to make any changes.

Advisory groups are provided the needs assessment list and asked to
recommend programs or other ways that these needs can be addressed.
The Extension Executive Board is used to also help us determine
program implementation ideals, resources, and promotion of the
overall program. Advisory groups are used through group meetings and
phone surveys.

Our office is very involved in activities that support and promote
community involvement. Such activities include the various community
festivals, health fairs and other events.

Many times because of our resources and expertise we are looked at to
help coordinate and plan these activities.

In Webster County we are very fortunate to have the unwavering
support of our elected officials, schools, businesses and many
individuals who have benefited from our assistance. We make sure that
our supporters and others are aware of what we have done with our
resources. They see the benefits. Because of this, many times getting
the necessary resources we need is just a phone call away. Our local
businesses always sponsor programs or events as requested.

Leaders and volunteers are an important and necessary part of any
successful program. In Webster County we use volunteers in almost
every aspect of our programs. Training is provided through a variety
of means. 4-H volunteer leaders receive training in our office
through state provided trainings broadcast via satellite downlink as
well as subject specific trainings conducted at our office. Other
volunteers receive training as the program or upcoming activity
dictates.