Central 8 represents a very diverse population of over 1.25 million people with rapidly changing demographics. While agricultural production and marketing remain a major contributor to the region´s economy, recreational use of range lands and the industrial development along the Interstate 35 Corridor is making a significant contribution to economic stability and growth.
Family health, safety, and well-being issues have also become increasingly important as our population changes. Food safety, healthy living principles, child safety, and pressures on families remain critical programming areas for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
4-H and youth program efforts reach over 7,198 youth in organized 4-H clubs. An additional 34,371 youth participate in school-based enrichment programs and other special interest activities.
The programs and activities conducted in District 8 represent the efforts of 13,985 trained volunteers who expand and extend the efforts of Extension professionals.
Result demonstrations and applied research continue to be one of the most visible and effective educational tools that Extension agents use to transfer research based technology in agriculture to producers and the public. Extension specialists and agents, program development groups, and cooperators have worked together and shared expertise and experiences as result demonstrations and applied research were planned, implemented, evaluated, analyzed, and published for distribution.
The faculty and staff in District 8 continue to meet the challenges of change as we lead Texas into the 21st Century. In Texas, the pioneer spirit of people helping their neighbors still prevails. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service is a “people helping” organization. In fact, it was that concept, first tried in 1903 on the Porter Farm in Terrell, Texas – Kaufman County, that led to the formation of the Cooperative Extension Service in each state in 1914. In 1915, the Texas Legislature accepted the Smith-Lever Act authorizing Texas A&M College to administer the Cooperative Extension Service in Texas.