Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), sometimes called Extension, wants to help Alabama citizens including Auburn’s students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni by providing them with working knowledge for everyday situations or problems to better their lives. Extension has been providing educational outreach to people for almost 100 years on behalf of the state’s two land grant universities, Alabama A &M University and Auburn University.
Jim Langcuster is the News and Public Affairs Specialist for ACES. He serves as the principal news blogger for Extension. He also writes feature stories, columns, op-eds and press releases among other things including social networking. His main function at ACES is to spread the word about what Extension is doing which is essential to their success.
Find more videos like this on Auburn Family
The main goal for ACES is “essentially to improve the quality of life for people or every walk of life,“ Langcuster said, “It’s to provide them with working knowledge that they need to improve their quality of life.”
Extension has six outreach areas of emphasis which are agriculture, forestry and natural resources, urban and new nontraditional programs, family and individual well-being, community and economic development, and 4-H and youth development. And within those six main categories 14 more distinctive topics are broken down and have been researched.
Each year Extension chooses a theme that they want to focus on to share with the state’s citizens. In 2008, the theme was called “Thriving in Challenging Times: The Road Ahead” and in ACES annual report they featured stories on the everyday person living in Alabama and what they have been doing to survive this tough economy. Several feature stories we written about families growing their own fruits and vegetables, a story on a war hero and a story about how people are doing after being laid off. The report provided a glimmer of hope for these people and was used to attract people to the services that Extension provides.
This year, ACES topic of focus is on sustainability and it is being called “Sustainability Plus”.
According to ACES Web site, “Sustainability Plus” was developed to underscore the fact that sustainability extends way beyond the environment. People can be sustainable in all facets of their lives including economically, personally and socially.
“People tend to assume that sustainability only deals with things like recycling, but it is a lifestyle practice that encompasses all aspects of our lives even the way we treat our bodies that boils down a sustainable issue, in terms of how we eat and our behavior that can help us live longer lives which are of high quality and in a sense that is a form of sustainability,” Langcuster said.
For more help on any topic that Extension covers not just the current topic of sustainability, people can contact their local extension officers. They will be able to provide face to face consultations and deliver services to clients in their areas.
For more information, including the latest news, announcements, and phone numbers for county agents, please visit www.aces.edu.