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What is the history of KSRE?
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

I am often asked what exactly is “K-State Research and Extension” and about the Cottonwood Extension District. Those are great questions and I hope that I can answer for you.

K-State Research and Extension is a statewide network of educators sharing unbiased, research-based information and expertise on issues important to Kansas. 

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a partner in the nationwide land-grant system of universities that was created in the 1860s to educate people from all walks of life and to generate and distribute useful public knowledge. K-State scientists and extension faculty can draw on the expertise and accumulated studies and discoveries of the land-grant system, other universities, state and federal agencies, and industry. Headquartered on campus in Manhattan, K-State Research and Extension includes statewide county or district extension offices, research centers, and experiment fields supported by county, state, federal, and private funds.

It is dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis and education.

With 131 years of research and 104 years of extension, K-State Research and Extension has been improving the quality of life and standard of living for Kansans for a century. Research completed is used by extension agents and others to help solve community issues.

This integrated system connects the university to every county through locally based educators who serve as sources of objective information. The Cottonwood Extension District was established July 1, 2017 and includes Barton and Ellis counties. An extension district addresses the changing demographics in Kansas as well as providing the ability for extension agents to be more specialized in their programming while providing education to a broader audience. Each county continues to have an office with access to research and educational opportunities in all program areas. There are currently seven extension agents across the Cottonwood Extension District covering crop production, livestock production, family and consumer science, family and community wellness, horticulture, and positive youth development.

If you have questions about what Extension can do for you give us a call! Quite a few years ago, I had a co-worker get cheese dip on his favorite tie and our first call was to Donna at the Extension Office to see what the best cleaning options were! Our ag agents can provide a wealth of information about improving production processes; family and community wellness agents provide educational opportunities for our communities to improve their health on physical, mental, and emotional levels. 4-H Youth Development agents are active with school, after-school, library, and recreation center programs in addition to traditional 4-H club activities!

Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness.

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Beran at or call 620-793-1910.