Our Mission, Our Community, and You
by: Marlin Bates,
County Extension Director/Agent,
The legacy of K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County and across Kansas has been to provide you with the technical assistance that you need to improve your quality of life. From responding to your questions about farming, gardening, health, and nutrition to proactively preparing youth for greater service, we’ve been here to help you meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The Kansas Leadership Center says that there are two primary types of challenges, technical and adaptive. Technical challenges have clear solutions and there is little time spent ascertaining just what the underlying problem is. Our work as an institution has largely been of this nature – where solutions are determined and delivered by experts. Adaptive work is messier, often without a clear solution. It takes considerably more time to name the problem and there are no experts to enlist in the process. This work requires the community to learn and engage to overcome the challenge. As society adapts the way it secures technical information and approaches adaptive challenges, so, too, do your trusted Extension Professionals at K-State Research and Extension.
We’re still here for you when you have a head-scratcher and we’re always happy to point you in the right direction when we scratch our heads about it, too. But we’re increasing our appetite for the sort of community conversations that can move the needle on those adaptive challenges that exist across our communities. We understand that core competencies in interpersonal relations, diversity/pluralism/multiculturalism, and community/social action processes are required to enable us to move between these two types of work.
However, no matter how well-prepared we are to engage in our work, we need your participation. Whether you are an active learner, have a curious question, or simply care about our community as a whole or in part, you play a role in helping us succeed. We hope that you will join us as we strive to successfully interact with all of our neighbors to create conversations of community-wide importance. We hope that you will step up when you see the opportunity to join or create coalitions dedicated to connecting the good efforts across Douglas County. None of us expect a quick answer to the adaptive challenges that we face, but we believe we can make progress – but it takes all of us. If you’re curious about how you can help, just reach out. We’ll be here for you just like we have been for the past 100 years.