What we do

Cooperative Extension means many things to many people. Here in Sussex County Delaware, as one third of  the outreach arm of the University of Delaware (and often with our partner land grant institution Delaware State University) we bring university- based research and knowledge to our constituents- be they individuals, families or commercial industries and businesses. Cooperative Extension agents, volunteers (like 4-H leaders and Master Gardeners) and our partners in the community continually work together to help people help themselves.

We assist people with their lawns and gardens, industry with their greenhouses, and we provide farmers and growers with valuable information about pests, weather, IPM, irrigation and new crop varieties. We research and offer solutions for problems that plague the agriculture sector. Through variety trials, we offer the promise of extending the length of the growing season and widen the menu of fruits and vegetable crops that can be grown in our region.  Delaware agriculture is an $8 billion dollar industry! Cooperative Extension and the research professionals at Carvel are dedicated in assuring that Delaware agriculture continues to thrive. From farm to fork, Extension’s role is vital. Our influence is tangible!

Extension fosters community health by encouraging deliberation of important issues and a civil exchange of ideas. Extension provides intensive leadership training on many levels and across several platforms. We  listen carefully and encourage citizens to be part of the conversation.   We unlock leadership potential and encourage community and  business leaders to act as economic gardeners. Indeed, we help people grow crops- and we also help people cultivate  their business and local economies!

Cooperative Extension encourages the use of renewable resources. We help poultry and livestock farmers develop plans to reduce pollution and save energy. Extension programs at Carvel offer numerous day and evening workshops- often delivered for free or at a minimal cost. One way we advocate interest in our natural environment and best practices is by introducing our youngest citizens to Extension through the  4-H youth development program.

Our influence extends beyond the farm and businessess –  to the home, encouraging wise choices in family finance, nutrition and safety. We empower youth through the 4-H program. Have you checked into 4-H lately? It’s evolved far beyond “cows and plows” and today’s 4-H’ers are building robots, conducting investigative science experiments, learning computer science skills and developing their public speaking confidence. Young 4-H’ers grow into strong citizens, curious students and confident professionals. 4-H has a proud legacy of community service. If Extension is the major leagues, then 4-H is the farm team, with each young player selecting from a wide range of curricula-based activities.  Today, the  green 4-H clover expands across more than 140 program areas. Wow, 4-H does that?  Yes it does and so does Cooperative Extension!

We don’t like to brag, but there are those who may be unaware just  how  Cooperative Extension programs and personnel  make a difference in the lives of others.  Our staff are often key actors, working behind the scenes to provide the tools for success. We measure our success by yours!

As part of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,  Cooperative Extension outreaches to all aspects of Delaware agriculture, but we go far beyond the farm! Our professionals share the knowledge and techniques that empower individuals, families, small businesses, non-profits and commercial industries to succeed, innovate and thrive. The Carvel Center is comprised of highly trained and dedicated scientists and researchers who obtain their reward by sharing what they know with others. We are the citizen university!

Has Sussex County Cooperative Extension, the Carvel Research & Education Center or Lasher Lab made a difference to you? Please visit our page on the Carvel Facebook page and share your story or impressions with us. We would love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “What we do

  1. We have monthly classes for our partner families who are preparing to buy a Habitat home. One topic of interest is lawn care and simple landscaping and weed/pest control. Would someone consider coming to a home site in Georgetown to share with a group of about 15 adults? We have our classes on the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. We would like to schedule a class on yard maintenance and garden care on Thursday, September 13. Please let me know if there is someone else I should contact or if this is a possibility. Thanks very much.
    Linda Willilams, Family Services Coordinator
    855-1153 X 212

  2. Hi Linda! We’ve passed your comment and idea to Tracy Wootten, extension agent in horticulture. Thanks for submitting the idea!

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