By Debbie Moellendorf
Department Head and 4-H Youth Development Educator, Lincoln County University of Wisconsin-Extension Cooperative Extension
People are often familiar with one program or educator in their local UW-Extension Cooperative Extension office but are often unaware of all of the resources available through their local county office.
UW-Extension Cooperative Extension is a unique partnership of counties, the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin working together to help people put the knowledge of the University to work. Cooperative Extension reflects the vision that has become known as the “Wisconsin Idea” – the boundaries of the University are the boundaries of the state. This partnership brings education to people where they live, through the local county extension office, in each of the 72 Wisconsin counties.
Here in Lincoln County, we offer educational programs through four program areas: Agricultural and Natural Resources; Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development; Family Living and 4-H Youth Development. We have staff in each of these program areas who are faculty members of the University of Wisconsin, employed by a cooperative arrangement between the University and Lincoln County. Staff members provide a direct link to the University of Wisconsin expertise and research. This university affiliation provides counties with access to community assessment tools, program evaluation expertise, a statewide network of program professionals, a source of professional development and access to University of Wisconsin programs.
Whether it’s someone who took part in a Strong Bones program, participated in a Strategic Planning Process, learned how to prepare healthy food options, received help with a horticulture question, participated in a 4-H program, serves on a coalition addressing local health needs or a group of farmers learning about cover crops; the impacts of our program are felt deeply in every corner of Lincoln County.
Often these impacts are not shared beyond our office or immediate communities. Today, we are changing that.
Tap Into It is our first organization-wide effort to facilitate telling our story through our positive impacts. Tap Into It will help us bring awareness to the work we do as well as build a database of stories and impacts told in the words of those we serve. To follow our progress or submit your own story, please visit the Tap Into It website at www.uwcx.org.
To learn more about your local county extension office or to talk with any of our staff, please contact us at 715-539-1072 or visit our website at lincoln.uwex.edu or visit us at the Lincoln County Service Center at 801 N Sales Street in Merrill. Our office is located on the lower level of the building.