OSWEGO, NY – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County is an extension of the county legislator, its executive director said.
Thanks to the support it receives from the county, the agency is able to help make life better for area residents, Paul A. Forestiere II told the legislators recently.
And, the support isn’t just financial, he added.
“I think the talk of the town right now is Cooperative Extension’s Harvest Dinner. It was a great, great event. Quite honestly, what makes that event so special was not just the fact that it was a time for people to come and enjoy themselves and be with friends, which it really was. When the festivities were over people didn’t leave. People were very happy to stay there and keep talking and renew old acquaintances. So, that was a great thing,” Forestiere said.
“What was important about that event was it was really the poster child for what we talk about in 4H, which is learn by doing. We didn’t just tell you about local foods. We gave you an opportunity to come in and we showed you about local foods. We showed you what you could do with the wonderful variety of local foods that are available in Oswego County,” he continued.
Cooperative Extension is about educating the public, he said.
“How do we show the public that there is a better way to do things? How do we show the public that there is a solution to the problem? How do we show the public that someone has the answer? Someone usually does have the answers, and it’s usually Cooperative Extension. And, if we don’t have the answer, we will find the answer for you,” he said.
Its mission is to “interpret, disseminate, and deliver research-based information and knowledge on issues relevant to Oswego County youth, individuals, families, farms, small business, and communities.”
Cooperative Extension also contributes to improving the quality of life through education and empowering volunteers and staff to lead, guide, and teach, Forestiere said.
Program areas of particular importance include Agriculture, Youth Development, Human Ecology, and Natural Resource Management.
The organization’s 4H numbers have once again increased, Forestiere told the legislature.
“We are extremely proud of the fact that our little county here in Oswego does the amount of work that it does with our youth that rivals the other larger counties in New York State,” he said. “It is absolutely amazing that we are able to accomplish the amount of things that we do.”
Since 1913, business, farmers, and families have been receiving the best information available on the issues that matter most to them, he added.
Because its office is in Oswego County, the agency can be responsive to this county’s immediate needs, while drawing on the expertise of world-class professors at Cornell University, he explained.
The agency appreciates the county’s support, he added.
“We appreciate not only the fact that we get funding from you – because that’s critical to what we do, we can’t do it without you – but what we really appreciate is when we hold a program, we see many of you there with us. By virtue of the fact that you’re there with us, you get first-hand experience of all the great things this organization does. We work on behalf of you for the betterment of the residents of Oswego County,” he said.