Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - Fixtures of the Norman Rockwell world, the county agent and the 4-H club are still alive and well through New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, along with an advisory group of New Mexicans bent on helping the organization serve citizens.
Thirty-nine citizens representing most of the state's counties met this month at the Las Cruces Hilton at the 22nd annual meeting of the Extension Support Council, to discuss communications strategies, volunteerism, technology applications, needs of Spanish-speaking audiences and progress of agricultural research centers in the state.
"The support council plays a critical role in bringing local issues to NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service in an effort to use research-based knowledge to improve the quality of New Mexicans' lives," said Holly Woelber, newly elected president of the council. Woelber, a consultant from Belen, took office with Richard Hadley of Texico, vice president; Sandi Wilkie of Carlsbad, secretary/ treasurer; and Blake Curtis of Clovis, parliamentarian.
Eleven of the representatives were new to the statewide council. They are selected from county-level Extension advisory groups and advisory groups to a dozen agricultural science centers across the state. County Extension offices are affiliated with county governments and receive state and federal support through NMSU.
Constitutionally mandated in New Mexico since 1915, Extension engages in community education programs through its 4-H youth program, school outreach and partnerships with more than 100 agencies plus direct educational programs for farm and ranch operators and other clients.
Extension harnesses about $7 million in grants and contracts annually to address nutrition, parenting, drug abuse prevention, youth development, water conservation and other current issues through educational programs.
"I look forward to serving the residents of New Mexico and our land-grant university through the Extension Support Council this next year," Woelber said.
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