Urban Extension: A Professional Development Offering

support staff offices, meeting facilities and is also home to Natural Resource and Soil Conservation District Offices .

The CES Enrichment Center was completed in 2015. It is a state-of-the-art facility food processing/cooking demonstration kitchen, complete with 14 training kitchens and able to accommodate approximately 75 people. The Center also has conference facilities that can accommodate up to 700 people, and is widely utilized by many other community and local government groups and non-profit organizations. The Boone County Farmers Market is located on CES property and has been voted ‘Best Farmers Market’ in Northern Kentucky for eight consecutive years by Northern KY Magazine. In 2018, growers reported sales of $1.1 million, making it the second largest farmer’s market (FM) in the state. The FM involves approximately fifty producers and is very customer-focused. CES employs a dedicated staff member whose job is to “market” the market, which is also promoted regularly in the local media. In addition, there are weekly events at the FM featuring local chefs and Extension agents, who demonstrate how to prepare the food that is available onsite. Local live bands and music provide a festive atmosphere every Saturday morning during the growing season. Live radio promotions, car shows and a Community Activities Fair onsite are all designed to expose new audiences to the FM and also to other programs, events and services Extension has to offer. The Boone County Arboretum is a partnership between CES and local government, which owns the land. CES Horticulture initially envisioned the Arboretum as a location to research landscape plants and trees. Local government approved the idea, and today the Arboretum is home to over five thousand varieties of landscaping plants and trees, which are enjoyed by thousands (casually each year) and hundreds more during formal Extension educational programs. To sustain the facility, Boone County CES purchases all trees, plant materials and irrigation equipment, and also funds a portion of the curator position as well as seven seasonal maintenance staff salaries. The Arboretum consistently ranks in the top five Arboretums in Kentucky based on educational programming and species grown. In addition, the facility also offers a long- established youth sports facility. (See https://bcarboretum.org/) The Extension Environmental Education and Nature Center , purchased in 2010, consists of one hundred twenty acres designed to serve as an environmental preserve, used to educate the community regarding wildlife and other natural resources. CES environmental education programs are multi-disciplinary, with thousands of youth and adults learning how to protect and enrich the local environment each year. Boone County Master Gardeners assist the Center by maintaining demonstration plots of fruit and vegetable gardening, as well as a butterfly plot. The site also has a “High Tunnel” for demonstration purposes. Other demonstrations include: irrigation, plastic-culture, cut flowers, and research involving different mulching materials.

Annual Farm Tours (while not a new concept) continue to be an important method used to educate urban populations on the critical role that agriculture plays in our daily lives. In partnership with the Farm Bureau,


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