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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
extension week 2009

Extension Week

Posted by John Fulton -

The West Central Region has designated April 19-25 as Extension Week. Logan County has had Extension since February of 1918. It began with a Farm Advisor named Elmer Ebersol who began selling the county memberships in the combined Extension and Farm Bureau system that remained in place until the 1950's.

Early projects included establishment of the county Pure Bred Live Stock Breeders' Association, Pure Bred Beef Cattle Breeders' Association, Pure Bred Dairy Cattle Breeders' Association, and the Pure Bred Swine Breeders' Association. Soybeans were a new crop at that time, and their planting was being encouraged. Of course, soybeans were used mainly for hay in their early years. Spring wheat was the predominant wheat crop of the time, and there were several thousand acres of oats. Farm labor was a major concern of the time, and labor placements were a major focus of Extension. The first soil survey of the county was also begun.

The 4-H Program began about 1920 with the first 4-H Clubs focusing on specific projects of swine and corn. Later in 1923 there began a push for home economics based clubs, and the push was on to identify volunteer leaders. Home Economics was added a few years later with the first "Home Advisor." Focuses were on running a household and home food preservation.

Logan County added an aggressive Community Resource Development program in the late 1970's. This program was responsible for many of the community wide surveys done in the early 80's, and these surveys even led to removal of the city of Lincoln parking meters around the square and municipal parking lots.

Extension continues to evolve as needs of residents change. Horticulture programming became more prevalent in the 1980s, non-traditional youth programs such as school enrichment and special interest clubs began in the 1980's, and the Family Nutrition Program started in the 1990's. Web pages began to be a communication medium in 2003, and today there is an average of about 15,000 hits per month on county web pages.

Extension Week helps us remember where we have been, and to focus on being of value to local citizens. Extension has always been blessed with many exceptional volunteers, and today is no exception. There are over 100 volunteer leaders in the 4-H program, and many others serving on committees and councils for various programs. If you are interested in volunteering, please feel free to contact the office at any time.

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