Meeting Local Needs
Special programs are designed to meet particular needs at both the district and county levels. Education is provided through programs, seminars, workshops, mass media, newsletters, exhibits and personal contacts. Most county Extension Service offices are in or near the county courthouse and contain publications and information on many topics. District and campus based specialists provide direction and support as team members with the County Extension Agents and other resource personnel in addressing problems particular to the Rolling Plains.
Strengthening families is the goal of programs which teach skills in parenting, train day-care providers, provide literacy training, and build self-concept in adults as well as youths. Local literacy councils have been organized to recruit volunteers to teach reading programs in 4-H and Family Community Leadership (FCL) provide programs, workshops and seminars which build self-esteem and develop skills in public speaking, interpersonal communication, civic responsibility and activity, and organizational interaction. These programs provide a mechanism for citizen activity in local decision making and community development. Interaction of youths and adults in Extension Service programs helps bridge the “generation gap” and fosters personal understanding.
Economic development in the counties is a major concern to keep communities alive and prospering. Extension programs organize strategic planning meetings which help citizens analyze community assets as well as problems and determine ways to strengthen the community and encourage new business. Family economics is no less important. County agents and specialists in home and agricultural economics, agricultural producers and businessmen in use of computers, basic record keeping and management practices. Teaching high school students sound financial management is just one of the school curriculum projects available through the youth program in 4-H.
Rural Health Care
Many small county hospitals are closing due to insurmountable costs; some counties lack a practicing physician. This deprives rural citizens of needed regular health care. Extension home economists, working with local advisory committees, organize and conduct health fairs to provide health screening, special diet seminars, food safety programs and fitness programs.
Educational Information on the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Website: