Southern Gardening's Guide to the
Cooperative Extension Service
The local Extension Office
The local Extension Agent
The Master Gardener program
Contacting your Extension Office
Extension on the Internet
Help! You have ugly brown spots on your tomatoes, the leaves just fell off your azaleas, and the dead spot in your lawn is spreading! Help!
Well, you might ask your neighbor for advice or the weekend assistant at the garden center might have a clue.
But if you want accurate information from someone with more knowledge and more experience, call a Cooperative Extension Agent. It's their job to answer all your horticultural and agricultural questions. Their office is a gold mine of useful, easy to understand information on most every subject involving the plant kingdom. Some agents even make house calls.
The national Extension Service systemNational Agricultural Library http://www.nal.usda.gov
Agriculture Network Information Center http://www.agnic.org/
The National Agronomy Society http://www.agronomy.org
Soil and Water Conservation Society http://www.swcs.org/
Soil Science Society of America http://www.soils.org
National Plant Data Center http://plants.usa. gov/
National Plants http://plants.usda.gov/
NRCS Home Page http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/
NRCS Water & Climate Center http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/
Extension agents are part of a nation-wide system — the Cooperative
Extension Service (CES). CES is an information network linking the U.S. Department of Agriculture, land-grant universities,
county governments, and individual extension agents.
For gardeners, the range of CES services is broad. You can call or visit the office and get individual attention for questions or problems. They will advise you on how to get your soil tested by the nearest state laboratory. This test is very important to keep your plants happy and productive. It costs about $3 for a simple test and $7 for a more complete test.
Most CES offices conduct courses and workshops. The office also offers information sheets, pamphlets, and books — written by horticulturists and researchers on almost any garden topic you can think of. CES now has a website that will allow you to browse or download most of their printed information.
For the convenience of local residents, here are maps you can view or print, showing the location of
CES agents are university-trained professionals — dedicated
to sharing scientific information on every aspect of agriculture and
horticulture. Although they have a field of specialty, they all receive
in-depth training in many subjects to prepare them for a diverse clientele.
When a question is over their head, they can tap resources of the state
university system and other CES offices across the nation.
This Master Gardener network now has over 40,000 members in the U.S. and Canada. You can put yourself on the other side of the CES counter if you like gardening, like helping people, and are willing to take the intensive training. Contact your CES for details.
Your county CES office is listed in the local government section of your phone book — under the name of your county.
Alphabetical List of Cooperative Extension County Offices with links
to their web pages (where available) and contact information
Then don't beat around the bush —
leaf us a message.
Copyright © 1998 by Southern Gardening