UF/IFAS Extension Historical Marker

Blogging the UF/IFAS Extension Story

Today, access to the internet, social media and smart phones allows each of us to engage in the global conversation on almost any topic.

We can leave comments on decision makers’ Twitter timelines, follow a celebrity on Facebook and chronicle even our most mundane activities on Instagram.

So while the world may not need another cute cat video or really care about what I am eating for lunch today, this immediate access can be an asset to all of us in UF/IFAS Extension.

Sharing Expert Content

Man standing in a field on a smart phoneAll of us in UF/IFAS Extension are in the expert content business. We have valuable knowledge that is actually useful to millions of people. But there will never be enough hours in the day or days in the week for us to connect with those individuals who need our service.

But… we can provide that practical information in easy-to-access, concise, and approachable ways through the web and through blogging! Through Blogs.IFAS, Extension agents, specialists and staff can (and do) share information about their programs, promote events andcommunicate about the impact UF/IFAS Extension has across the state.

We live in a digital world. The Pew Research Center has recently tracked internet use over time. When they started tracking Americans’ internet usage in  early 2000, about half of all adults were online. In 2017, roughly nine in ten American adults use the internet. If we are to be effective agents of change in our community and serve the 20.5 million Floridians who we call our neighbors, we need to reach them where they are … online.

New Platform, Same UF/IFAS Extension

Man teaching agricultural communicationPosting regularly on Blogs.IFAS is a great way to reach out to your community. And it is really another transition to what we have been doing for over 100 years in Cooperative Extension. Just as the telephone and television made new communication methods available to us, using the internet and sharing our work on a digital platform is the newest way for us to deliver programs.

That is not to say there is not value in our more traditional methods of teaching and outreach. Face-to-face instruction will always be a mainstay of UF/IFAS Extension. But we all pride ourselves on being responsive to our audiences and stakeholders. Providing content on the web is a very timely, efficient and effective way to do this.

So I am initiating my own blog with this post. My goal is to tell the UF/IFAS Extension story in a contemporary, convenient medium. Through this blog, I’ll be talking about what our county faculty and specialists are doing to solve some of our state’s most vexing problems in agriculture, health and nutrition, youth development, natural resources, and community and economic development. I hope that you will check in often and share on your own Facebook and Twitter timelines.

I look forward to your joining me!