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Cooperative Extension Service works to provide programs

September 24, 2006

The mission of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, Washington County office, is simple: To educate people to help themselves by providing quality, innovative programs, information and advice.

That information and advice is broken down into four categories:

· Agriculture and natural resources - 301-791-1304

· 4-H youth development - 301-791-1404

· Family and consumer sciences - 301-791-1504

· Horticulture - 301-791-1604

Families may get information on gardening, landscape and lawn care, managing family budgets, understanding diet, nutrition, health and food safety, building and improving parenting skills, recycling and composting.

Youth may participate in 4-H clubs and special interest groups, school enrichment programs, after-school education and enrichment programs, camping and self-help instruction.

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The agriculture community can get help with raising crops and livestock, protecting the environment, education for water quality, marketing commodities, farm and business management and pest management.

Lynn Little is the county extension director/educator. Her e-mail address is llittle@umd.edu.

"We contribute mightily to the community," Little said. "We truly believe in our mission to educate people to help themselves."

Little, who has been at the helm since 2003, said the agency looks for opportunities to reach out to the community.

"We provide unbiased information based on research out of the University of Maryland," Little said.

Jeff Semler is the extension educator for agriculture and natural resources. His e-mail address is jsemler@umd.edu.

Semler said the extension service is beginning to provide formal programs for horse owners and small and part-time farmers.

Beth Bubacz is the extension educator/4-H youth development. Her e-mail address is bbubacz@umd.edu.

Donielle Inskeep is a faculty extension assistant/4-H youth development. Her e-mail address is dinskeep@umd.edu.

There are two nutrient management advisers. Kenlin Martin's e-mail address is kmartin4@umd.edu. Rich Spoonire's e-mail address is rspoonir@umd.edu.

The Washington County office is sponsored jointly by the University of Maryland, Washington County government and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Web address for the office is http://extension.umd.edu/local/Washington/. The fax number is 301-791-1048.

The office is at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7303 Sharpsburg Pike, south of Hagerstown.

Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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