Remembering extension adventures

Did this happen to you?

photo: Sign from 1955 office that reads "Agricultural Extension Service University of Missouri"Above, This Extension Service sign hung outside an extension office in 1955. You are part of a proud history of extension agents.

  • You show up at a meeting and think you’re a guest, only to find out you are the guest speaker.
  • There is a power failure during an autumn program, but you continue by using the light from a jack-o’-lantern.
  • You can organize a livestock show in less than two weeks.
  • You can get a screen, projector and handouts in your vehicle when it is raining (and if you are really good, it will all fit in a small vehicle).
  • You can throw together a display in 15 minutes flat and end up exhibiting it on the hood of your car.
  • You wear two different shoes to work on the day of an important presentation.
  • You join a civic organization and you are the program every month.
  • It snows, floods, hails, ices or sets record temperatures for heat (pick one) before a major extension event.
  • You have more training manuals than the Library of Congress.
  • According to your work calendar, everyone shows up for a meeting on the wrong day (or no one shows up for a meeting on the right day).
  • In a pinch you can make a screen for a projector from a sheet, a piece of poster board or the side of a barn, if necessary.
  • Your vehicle looks like you are moving to the next county when, in reality, you are just going to do a short workshop.
  • You can carry a projector, handouts, two extension cords, laptop and refreshments in one trip from the extension center to the car, and then from the car to the meeting hall.
  • Your children’s eyes glaze over as you attempted to describe University of Missouri Extension.
  • A smiling coworker approaches and you get the feeling they want you to judge something.


Excerpts from the booklet “You Know You’re in Extension When…” edited by Karen DeBord. She was a state human development specialist in Missouri before going to North Carolina Cooperative Extension. She published a booklet in 1996.