NU Dean of Extension holds Gage County discussion session
Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska Dean of Extension, held a community meeting with around 35 people — many of them agriculture producers — on Tuesday evening at the Gage County Extension Office.
“We are committed to providing high quality, high impact extension programming designed to meet the needs of Nebraskans,” Hibberd said. “We are now in the process of thinking about how we can continue to improve and in ways that Nebraskans value. We have drafted a set of Strategic Priorities to guide our work through 2025 and are asking for input from some of our most trusted stakeholders.”
Gage County was the one of the 15 facilitated discussion sites across Nebraska. The discussions are taking place in December and January.
“We are asking the community to share ideas and to help us think about how we provide value to your county, how we could improve our work and other emerging issues,” Hibberd said. “We have challenges and opportunities that will be important in the next three to five years.”
According to Hibberd, Nebraska Extension is considered a national leader for some the following reasons:
• It focuses on critical issues identified by Nebraskans (demand-driven).
• Nationally leading 4-H youth engagement. One in three youth between the ages of 8 and 18 are involved in 4-H.
• Extension faculty with national and international reputations.
• Engagement with a large number of Nebraskans in Extension programming every year (443,041 in 2018).
• Excellence in Extension National Awards.
Many producers voiced concerns for Nebraska Extension remaining relevant to their operations when there is not an extension educator focused on crops, water and livestock in Gage County after the retirement of Paul Hay.
Participants were also invited to provide written concerns.
Two-hundred-and-thirty-four extension educators and specialists across Nebraska work in:
• 4-H Youth Development, 29 percent
• Crops and Water, 23 percent
• Livestock Systems, 11 percent
• Food, Nutrition and Health, 10 percent
• Community Vitality, 8 percent
• Community Environment, 7 percent
• Learning Child, 7 percent
• Farm Management, 4 percent
“One of the things that I appreciate is that most Nebraskans will tell it like it is. I appreciate the perspectives that were shared here tonight and the time that each person shared with us during this busy season,” said Hibberd.
Please click on the link: https://go.unl.edu/extension2025 to find dates of locations of future meetings.