Nebraska Extension serves all 93 of the state's counties. Here's a small sample of the varied work extension does to enhance the lives of all Nebraskans.
Passing the ranch to the next generation
Passing the ranch to the next generation is a tough job, especially if the next generation is unsure of what will happen when their parents pass. Nebraska Extension educators and specialists help ranchers and their family members with the transition process by providing workshops and other information. Topics include family communication, the legal ramifications of the transition, equitable division of assets and the long-term viability of the ranch.
Effect of flies on cattle study
Mitch Stephenson, forage and range specialist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, uses technology in a new way to study the longtime problem of flies on cattle. He evaluates the impact of fly load on cattle grazing distribution using GPS collars on cattle. Dave Boxler, extension educator at the West Central Research and Extension Center, also is involved in the study, which is being conducted on the university's Barta Brothers Ranch.
High carbon char
Extension specialists and educators are studying whether high-carbon char, a fine, powdery coal dust left over from the processing of sugarbeets, will improve the soil if applied to farmers' fields. During the three-year study, they will apply high-carbon char to several research plots near Scottsbluff. The char will be applied at different rates in a rotation that will include sugarbeets, corn and dry edible beans.
Field pea research
A team of extension specialists and educators is quantifying the feasibility of growing field peas in southwest Nebraska. Results were shared recently at a tour of the farms of collaborating producers and at a workshop attended by 260 producers.
Big Red Ag Growers (BRAG)
Big Red Ag Growers (BRAG) is a youth advocacy program in which youth ages 12-15 experience many facets of the agriculture industry through tours and visits with industry leaders. Those who graduate from the program have a better understanding of how modern agriculture is efficiently delivering food to the world.
Next Chapter at Nebraska
Next Chapter at Nebraska is a college-readiness program delivered through Nebraska 4-H that helps students prepare for and succeed in college. The program, which is offered to students beginning in the 8th grade, inspires youth ages 12-15 to continue their education after high school, to gain awareness of higher education options and to develop college readiness skills. Students also develop social skills, stress management, self-discipline, self-motivation and a sense of responsibility while exploring careers.
Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process (ECAP)
The Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process (ECAP) is a holistic approach to help communities support innovation and entrepreneurship by understanding their unique characteristics, community assets and potential opportunities. By working with extension specialists and educators, communities are embracing visionary thinking and endorsing entrepreneurial leadership. As a result, they are able to leverage resources to attract and retain a working age population that will enhance community economic growth.
Surveying bee pollinators
Natalia Bjorklund, a Nebraska Extension educator, is developing guidelines for urban garden modifications to attract pollinators and measure their success. The research objective is to survey bee pollinators in urban Nebraska gardens, identify the plants they prefer for nectar and pollen, and incorporate that information into garden recommendations.