Submitted by Adam Austing, extension educator
What is the University of MN Extension? In 1914, the
Smith-Lever Act created a “Cooperative Extension Service” associated with the land
grant institution in each state. For us, that would be the U. Extension’s first
big test came during World War I, when it played a big role in increasing the
nation’s wheat production to meet the world’s food demand. When people think of
Extension they often think of agriculture and 4-H. Those are still two huge
parts of Extension, but it has expanded to include things like nutrition
education, developing urban and rural communities, and fighting the opioid
So where do I fit into this? Technically, I am a local
Extension educator with a focus on agriculture and horticulture for Wright
County. To some of you that have been around awhile, I am the county ag agent.
I hold programs and events to help farmers improve their operations, gardeners
grow better tomatoes and tulips, and homeowners care for their trees and lawn.
I work to find answers to questions like “why is my tree dying,” “how can I
improve my pasture,” and “what do I need to do start a mushroom farm?” I also
coordinate the Wright County Master Gardener program.
What are Master Gardeners? These are volunteers with a
passion for plants and people. They dedicate their time to teaching adults and
kids how to garden and care for the environment. In Wright County, we have
about 40 energetic Master Gardeners itching to get into their gardens this
spring. I have partnered with our Master Gardeners to bring you this column.
Every other week, you will see an article by either me or a Master Gardener.
The topics will vary greatly- from how to be successful in your garden to
interesting things found in nature in Central MN and the world.
If any of this sounds interesting, keep an eye out for
this column in 2020. If you do not want to wait two weeks for the next article,
please feel free to reach out to us. The Wright County Extension office is
located just North of Buffalo and we always welcome visitors. You can call the
office at 763-682-7394 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are wanting
to talk to one of our amazing Master Gardeners, contact me or reach out to them
directly on their yard & garden line: 763-684-8489.