For four years, I have proudly served on the Executive Board of K-State Research and Extension in and for Barton County. Until I became involved in this capacity, I was naïve and really had no idea how many people, young and not so young, were reached by the programming shared by our local Agents. I honestly had never given it a thought Of course, I had heard of 4-H as have most. I believed it was just for farm kids with calves and goats. Was I ever misinformed!
Extension is so much more than 4-H, although it too is a crucial program within Extension. Barton County has a tremendous opportunity to reach out to its residents with vital, life changing information.
All people of Barton County have access to factual information based on research regarding all facets of life with hands-on Agents willing to teach classes on healthy eating, public speaking, and responsibilities of productive citizenship. Respect, exercising benefits, growing fruitful gardens, pest identification/control, and how to balance your checkbook or how to identify wheat rust is just the tip of the iceberg. If our community has any questions, K-State Research & Extension will help you find the answers with sound information and solid resources.
Donna Krug, Family and Consumer Science Agent will teach you how to cook a meal that will be delicious and yet not be harmful to your overall health. She will teach your children why it’s important to eat more greens. She will show you how to make a difference in your home environment by properly loving your family. Her vast knowledge will benefit this community if you will tap into her and the resources she has backing up all the information she shares. Donna is a vital Barton County resident and loves what she does and lives what she believes. She is a shining example of what K-State Research & Extension is all about.
Berny Unruh, 4-H Agent will teach your children respect, responsibility, leadership skills, and how to properly raise your bottle calf. She may also teach your child how to judge a speech in a public engagement or how to shoot bow and arrow. Berny expects excellence from herself as well as her own children and yours but she is quick to selflessly give of her time to help someone who is struggling with a project. Berny is also a vital Barton County resident who lives what she learns, teaches and believes in. Barton County is blessed to have Berny representing Extension.
Recently, K-State Research and Extension; Barton County hired Jennifer Carr as the Ag Agent to represent the Agricultural Community within Barton County. Jennifer will eagerly service this community once she becomes established. Jennifer is not afraid of hard work and cares very much about what the needs of Barton County are. Again, all the information and research Jennifer will share with residents is research based. Some vital issues facing us is the pine wilt, farm safety, pest identification and strengthening the economic development in Barton County.
The three Agents we have in Barton County are very committed to K-State and Barton County. Each has a field of expertise but all of them work for us and work together. Often they are working behind the scenes yet as a vital and integral part of a healthy community.
I have found in my four years of service that the yearly budget hearings at the Barton County Commission are a very stressful time. Understanding that many other projects and departments are vital, I also believe that education, early childhood development, the underserved, and intervention can make a tremendous impact within a community. This takes support and funding! You can be assured that your tax dollars are being used very wisely at K-State Research & Extension in Barton County.
Without community support, there will be no 4-H. Without community support, there will be no “Walk Kansas” program. Without community support, Tractor Safety School and “Agriculture Today in Barton County” programming will cease. Working together for a better Barton County future is vital. I believe these programs have a positive impact on our community.
As I complete my final year as Executive Board Chair, I have come to know that we in Barton County are truly blessed by K.S.R.E.; Barton County and would ask that you become involved as a volunteer for a program committee member. Give of your time, have fun doing it, and learn how you too can make a difference.
To the “All Volunteer” Executive Board, Donna Krug, Berny Unruh, Jennifer Carr, and the members of K-State Research and Extension in Barton County, I would like to say these four years have certainly been a season of blessings. Thank you all.
For more information about K.S.R.E., go to www.ksre.ksu.edu.
Robin Proffitt is the out-going executive board chair of the Kansas State Research Extension, Barton County.