Who DO extension services serve anyway?
Edna M Weigel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 14:54:34 -0700
Patricia said: (snip) Okay, I can't sit here & listen to all extension
services getting lumped
together without speaking up.(snip)
Andy said: (snip) But, based on my travels through the country over the
past two years, I
am sure there are more positive than negative agents out there, by a huge
Steve said: (snip) We need to build bridges and not make war. (snip)
Jane asked? (snip) Where are the gaps? What needs to be getting done
that isn't? (snip)
My participation in SANET has convinced me all extension services
are NOT created equal. My first shock was to realize SANET is actually
sponsored by the USDA (which I had previously thought of as being
anti-Sustainable). Then realized that there really are extension people
out there that are VERY DIFFERENT from the ones I've become disillusioned
I've had too much experience with agents who advise buying more
expensive seed, fertilizers, and pesticides and ridicule any one who uses
organic methods and/or saves seed. I'm convinced they serve the
commercial interests, not the farmers.
On the other hand, several SANETers have been kind enough to take
the time to supply thoughtful (and helpful) answers to my questions in
contrast to the raised eyebrows, snickers, and hostile answers I
previously learned to expect from those who are supposed to be serving
Clearly, not all extension people stop learning when they get
their degrees, thank goodness. I can only hope that the ones who keep on
learning will eventually replace the other kind.
As for the gaps Jane asked about, it seems to me that they are
tied in with attitude more than anything else. An agent can brag that he
only supplies "research-based" information, while constantly telling his
master gardener class things like "just go down to Safeway and buy your
fruits and vegetables--they're as good as anything you can grow and a lot
less work" and "too bad organic gardening is impossible in the desert."
When I said I had killed bermuda grass by spading then planting pumpkins
to shade it out, I was told I must not have had bermuda grass because
only glycophosphate will kill bermuda grass. To me, that reflects
attitude more than lack of knowledge and I have a hard time remaining
civil in the presence of such arrogance.
On the other hand, Byron recently chided me for not wanting to
approach my county agent and, on reflection, I have to agree with him--if
we don't act as if we expect reasonable answers, we'll probably never get
Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: