Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Testimonial in Support of Greene County Extension

From: Diann Barth

Sent: Sat, February 23, 2013 1:38:55 PM

I am more than pleased to support the University of Missouri Extension efforts in Greene County by joining the new Friends of Greene County Extension.

My family has a long, important tradition with the Extension efforts in rural Missouri. I grew up on a diverse farm in Lawrence County and I know that the success of our family farm was due in large part to the sound, professional advice given to our family by Extension agents.

My Dad relied heavily on the expertise he learned from our Lawrence County Extension agent. From getting annual soil tests to determine the best application of fertilizer and minerals, to getting advice on building a profitable beef herd, Extension was there with us the entire way!

My Dad consulted with our Extension agent on the type of crops to plant to minimize erosion and when there was a crop issue, our Extension agent helped with trouble-shooting and always provided needed answers. He worked hand in hand with the MO Conservation Department in developing proper terraces to prevent erosion on our farm and help plan for a large, water-tight pond so we could expand our beef herd to pastures where there were no wells.

I remember quite well when my Dad started farming with no-till beans to protect the soil and when he started carefully planting double crops of wheat and soybeans--all with the careful guidance of our Extension agent. Our agent assisted with a sound crop rotation plan (always involving alfalfa!!) and with advice on the proper choice of pesticides and hybrid seeds. Our agent even assisted us with the choice of the proper grain storage system. Our farm, despite consisting of soil that was less than optimal, was very successful-all because of our continued involvement with Extension.

I first learned of the importance of supporting one's community in the local 4-H club. My experience with 4-H molded who I am today--I learned leadership skills, cooperation with others, and effective meeting leadership all in my 4-H club. I quickly learned how meetings run and even some formal meeting rules in Robert's Rules of Order when I was only in third grade!!

I am a proud alumnus of the University of Missouri and I know that, without my family's successful farming operation I would not have been able to attend the University--so I continue to owe the Extension efforts even to this day. Members of my family continue to go to seminars provided by Extension--even seminars on how to deal with issues as we age!

In todays fast-paced, changing urban world, I believe Extension is even more important than ever. I think every family should have a successful vegetable garden to promote healthy eating and self-sustainability, farmers need sound advice on everything from crop and herd issues to financial maneuvering and young persons must be taught the importance of community support and involvement--all efforts carefully preserved by Extension!

Diann Barth


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