By BARBARA ADDISON

and ALLI BURNS

Finney County Extension agents

Ever wonder where to take those "how do I do" and "what is this" questions? The Finney County Extension Office is where to find your answer. Want to I.D. that bug or spider? Take a picture or maybe wrap it up and bring it to the Extension Office. The Extension Office will attempt to identify it for you immediately and tell you whether it's friend or foe.

As an extension of Kansas State University, the Finney County Extension Office is to provide information to residents of Finney County. Whether you need to learn how to care for your lawn, manage your money, prepare food safely, need a soil sample, or help youth develop leadership and life skills, the Finney County Extension Office offers a wealth of educational, research-based information to the community citizens of any age.

K-State Research and Extension is the short name for Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. They represent a collaboration of Kansas State University; federal, state and county governments; and the private sector. There is a presence in every county in Kansas.

The Finney County Extension philosophy is to help people help themselves by taking university knowledge to where people live, work, play, develop and lead. Extension agents work at being responsive to the needs of the people by providing quality information. The county Extension agents can supply audiences with something search engines cannot, knowledge in deep and enriched context, face to face dialogue, empowerment and working knowledge that enhances lives in long-term, meaningful ways.

Type of help that's available

Crops, livestock, lawn and garden: While farming is admirable as a way of life, it is also a business. K-State Research & Extension program offers a wide range of materials and resources related to livestock, crop production, agricultural profitability, weed control and farm management. Services provided include private and commercial applicator certification and water test kits.

Through lawn and garden, the Extension office offers information on trees, turf, shrubs, insects, gardens, plant identification and other related topics. Also services provided are water test kits and soil tests. These are a few services provided to the public for successful living on a few acres or farm.

4-H and youth development: Youth programs are for both city and rural youth including special interest groups and schools, which further enrich the lives of the community youth through hands-on experiences. Through 4-H programs young people learn leadership and citizenship, develop life skills and form attitudes that help them become productive members of society with high self-esteem.

Home, family, health and nutrition: Family and consumer sciences programs, K-State Extension are able to provide knowledge for life relating to home and family, in a changing environment.

County residents increasingly seek information about their food and nutrition needs, about how to prepare easy and nutritious meals, and about physical activity. Helping residents of Finney County eat healthier can stretch food budgets and increased physical activity can improve the quality of life now and in the future and reduce health care costs. In order to prevent foodborne illnesses, K-State Research & Extension agents present information on safe food handling practices for the benefit of all county residents.

Community development: Extension service also actively recruits, trains and encourages volunteer participation (Master Gardeners, 4-H volunteer leaders, Extension Board volunteers, program committees and volunteers) so as to more broadly extend the educational reach to the public.

One of our goals at K-State Research and Extension is to provide assistance and evidence-based programs to citizens, agencies, coalitions and partnership, who want to make sure their communities survive and prosper and be sustainable to meet residents' needs.

Anyone in Finney County is invited to enter the Finney County Extension Office doorway at 501 S. Ninth St., and explore the world of Extension knowledge. Extension has something for everyone, whether you're an avid gardener or a passionate cook, a family looking for youth activities that will help your child grow, or an ag producer looking to maximize your output, we have the classes, the information, the sources and the knowledge to help you.

Extension Connection is written by Finney Extension agents Barbara Addison and Alli Burns. Feel free to visit the Finney County Extension online site at www.finney.ksu.edu, Facebook or call 272-3670.