Each year Alabama Cooperative Extension conducts a grassroots survey in each of its 67 counties. County Extension Coordinators ask citizens, business, and industry for their opinion on the current and future programming needs of the county. Responses to the survey are used to inform programs developed by Auburn and Alabama A&M Experts and help the County Coordinator select what programs to offer in the coming year. Cooperative Extension has a wide range of programming a variety of agricultural programs, financial and estate planning, 4-H for youth, workforce development and more.
For those of you unfamiliar with Cooperative Extension or how it fits into higher education, briefly: Higher education consists of research, teaching and outreach. The Outreach portion is done through land-grant universities, under Cooperative Extension. In Alabama the two land-grant institutions are Auburn and Alabama A&M. Using innovative education methods, Cooperative Extension delivers research-based educational programs for the public. Cooperative Extension is the Outreach.
The information you provide through the surveys help Auburn and Alabama A&M Extension specialists develop relevant programs that enable people to improve their quality of life and economic well-being. In 2018 Alabama Extension reached 1 in 3 Alabama residents, that’s more than 1.4 million people. Our website (aces.edu) has current information about 4-H, Farming, Fish and Water, Food Safety, Forestry and Wildlife, Home and Family, Lawn and Garden, and Urban Extension. The website can help you find online courses, mobile apps, interactive videoconferences, and webinars. When a Pandemic isn’t running our lives, our face-to-face learning opportunities include community meetings, classroom demonstrations, field days, farm or home visits and 4-H clubs and camps. Currently many of our programs are offered via Zoom. A majority of our programs are offered at no cost to the client. Our current programing can be found on our Facebook page: facebook.com/BibbCountyAlabamaCooperativeExtensionOffice
Cooperative Extension has been in the partnership business for a century to secure private partnerships and deliver programs. We receive funding and resources from the following: federal, state, and county appropriations, federal grants, and county donations of office space and utilities. Private, corporate and foundation gifts and grants also provide critical support for Extension programs.
In the survey you will see questions such as, “Are there any additional needs, outside your expertise, that the County’s Extension office can address?” Please remember this is in the context of programs we can offer. Fixing roads, job creation, or making the internet better is not in our wheelhouse. We can provide programs on how to create a resume and interview for a job, or how to use different software applications. Our programming is to help develop the workforce so businesses and industry in Bibb County or those considering locating a business here will find a skilled workforce. We cannot create jobs. We can train citizens how to use technology, but we can’t make internet access better in Bibb County. This distinction is important when answering the questions, you’ll see in the survey.
Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what Cooperative Extension is and does. Bibb County Extension Grassroots committee meets once a year in the summer to discuss current needs for the upcoming year. A Zoom meeting is planned for Thursday, August 19th at 5:00pm. If you are interested in attending, please contact the Extension Office and we will forward you the calendar invite and a Zoom link.
Main Grassroots for Individuals –
Organizational Survey – for Leaders from Business, Industry, Gov’t. Agencies, Non-profit Organizations