Homesteaders naturally have a long list of things that can be learned to improve their self-reliance, the state land-grant university can help.
Homesteaders naturally have a long list of things that can be learned to improve their self-reliance. Things like building compost bins, planning a terrific garden, and preserving the harvest along with animal care and building fences.
Most of us can get this information from friends and family who’ve been there before us. Even if you don’t have a friend or family member to act as a guide, there is a lot of knowledge that can be gleaned from online video and knowledgeable websites. More than ever before you can learn the things you need to be successful.
State Land Grant University
There is another place that you can turn to when you need information about crops & soil, composting, animal husbandry, pasture management, or the wildlife in your area. It’s your state land-grant university. Do you use it?
These knowledgeable people are connected to a land grant university in your state. This system includes the 1862 public universities, the 1890 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and Tuskegee University, and the 1994 tribal colleges and universities. Find out who the NIFA land-grant partners are, and how to reach them with this Land-Grant University Partner Map.
You can begin your search at the Land Grant University website directory page. The tool allows you to discover specific colleges and universities and give you a link to their websites. Click on your state, choose ‘any’ under type, and then apply.
It will be worth your while to search surrounding states, especially if their climate is similar to yours. Each university has specialized information, so don’t limit yourself to just the state you reside in.
County Extension Offices
You will also find your county extension office and their volunteers are connected to these colleges. These hard-working people often pay a small fee for intense training and then provide community service in exchange for the detailed education they receive. You will certainly benefit from searching them out.
It costs you nothing to talk to people at the extension office and this is often the best place to go when you need specific information about your local conditions. In both Texas and Oregon, the extension offices teach monthly classes about relevant topics for the home gardener. I bet yours does too!
As you are making plans for the upcoming year, I encourage you to find online and local extension classes that you can attend during the New Year.
What Information is Available?
Quite a bit. If you have questions about your land, animals, crops, and soil management, the local extension office and university has certainly done the research for you. Even organic and sustainable practices are becoming more available through these traditional avenues.
These are some of the things I found available online as I was searching the land-grant university for my area:
- Crop Production Information
- Integrated Pest Management
- Pond Management
- Establishing Clover and Legumes for Livestock Grazing
- Organic Gardening Practices
- Soil Building
- Farming and Ranching for Profit
- Plants and Trees- Tree care kit, Sick plant Diagnosis
- Rainwater Harvesting
- Master Gardeners
- Vegetable gardening recommendations for my part of Texas
- Container and Raised Bed Gardening
I hope you’ll take the time to search your local land-grant university and the county extension office and see what they have to offer. You may just find the answer to the question you’ve been wondering about.