Montana State University Extension Service offers of wealth of knowledge to anyone searching for up to date research and information on a wide variety of agricultural and land ownership topics. As their mission statement states, “MSU Extension improves the lives of Montana citizens by providing unbiased research-based education and information that integrates learning, discovery and engagement to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals, families and communities.”
Having just reached its 100 year anniversary, MSU Extension has played a key factor in supporting the local community. Originating in 1914 the bustling youth-development program promotes Montana 4-H and claims to be the largest out of school youth development program in Montana.
An often forgotten resource, the Extension Service’s free website provides a host of information at your fingertips. For those who have an interest in land management, crops, livestock, home gardening, youth development and many more topics, a visit to the online homepage is a great start.
Another way to get information from the comfort of your computer is to sign up for their online webinars. Some upcoming topics are focused on financial planning, identity theft, predatory lender and financial aid.
Also available from their website is the Big Sky Small Acres; Rural Living in Montana magazine. This online publication is offered to the public for free or for a small fee the physical magazine can be ordered. The magazine produced by the MSU Extension is available three times a year and is a great resource for all land owners for up-to-date information on wildlife and habitat, pest and weed control, horticulture and much more. Other informational publications can be found on their website.
For those that prefer more interactive learning sources, the MSU Extension Service offers live educational experiences. Throughout the year conferences are hosted. In May 2016 a three-day Forest Stewardship Workshop is being offered in Bozeman to individuals who need to make important decisions regarding privately-owned forests. It will focus on forest ecology, fire and insect hazard management, forest health, and more. The workshop has other dates as it works around the state.
Another way to learn through the MSU Extension service is to get involved in the Master Gardener Program. The courses are offered in three levels with hands-on opportunities. After completion a test can be taken to become a certified master gardener. The series offers expert advice on local gardening strategies, pest management and other related topics.
In an age where there is so much new information to digest it can be overwhelming. Perhaps a trip to the MSU Extension Service website could be a great way to start the year. Check it out yourself!