Mother Earth News readers frequently contact our office to ask basic how-to questions regarding gardening, poultry and livestock. We usually refer them to our Web site, which contains over 8,000 articles from 36 years of Mother. But occasionally, the questions are of a more regional nature. People may have a specific weed problem, or might be looking for nearby feed stores or large animal veterinarians. In these cases, we refer them to their local county extension office, which can answer questions on those topics as well as many others related to sustainable living.
The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, (CSREES) is a network of 3,000 county extension offices affiliated with over 100 state land-grant colleges and universities and overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For instance, in Kansas, where I live, all 105 counties are served by a county extension office. To find the office closest to you, click on the link above.
In addition to programs you may already be familiar with, such as 4-H (a youth program focusing on leadership, citizenship and life skills), county fairs and the Master Gardener program, county extension offices offer information on food, nutrition and health; families and youth; community and economic development; natural resources and the environment; sustainable agriculture and more. The county extension offices have publications and resource specialists relevant to all of the programs they offer. It is definitely worth a trip to your local office to meet these dedicated professionals and peruse their library of resources.