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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Right Tools for the Job

By Chris Shelley, CSU Extension Area Livestock Agent

Everyone knows life can be tough and that finding the right resources when you need them can be even tougher. What you may not know is that Colorado State University Extension is here to help!

The Smith and Lever Act of 1914 marked the birth of the Cooperative Extension Service. Since then, Extension programs have been serving Americans in many ways. However, even with over 100 years of service, we still meet people that are unfamiliar with what we do.

In short, Extension is here to help you. The Smith and Lever act stated that the land grant universities (like CSU) are to provide instruction and demonstrations in agriculture and home economics. Today, CSU Extension still provides trusted, practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a better future, only the scope and focus has broadened with the needs of Coloradans.

CSU Extension is now helping in the areas of Agriculture, Animal Health, Energy, Home, Family, Finances, Food Safety, Health, Insects, Natural Resources, Nutrition, Water, Yard and Garden, and 4-H Youth Development. We have many agents and specialists all over the state of Colorado who are ready to help.

Lou Swanson, the current Director of Extension, implemented a new approach to Extension work in Colorado. It brilliantly pairs local concerns and interests with University research and information. We conduct needs assessments in the community and talk to as many people as we can to get a direction for the programs we offer. Unfortunately, we cannot reach everyone, but we hope that you will contact us if you see a need in the community or if we can help you.

As a livestock agent, I have the privilege of working with producers in northeastern Colorado. Recently, a man called the office and wanted to learn more about grazing and the nutritional needs of his cattle. We spent some time doing range inventory, assessing the nutritional needs of his cattle and balancing rations. Today, he feels more confident with stocking rates on his operation based on the amount of rainfall and forage produced. He also knows his cow’s nutritional needs to achieve the level of performance he wants. The best part is that many of our programs and help is free.

So the next time you wonder when to prune your trees, if your pressure canner is still safe, or how much crude protein your heifer calves need, give us a call. We’re here for you.