Cornell Cooperative Extension, Yates County has launched its annual “Friends of Extension Drive.”

According to Arlene Wilson, Executive Director Yates CCE, the agency is vital to the local economy. With continued community support, Cornell Cooperative Extension can continue to offer programs that build a stronger Yates County and contribute to individual economic success.

CCE’s impact is far-reaching and diverse, and includes—

• Youth Programming: The local 4-H is an active part of the Yates County Fair. 4-H provides education in animal care, animal knowledge and showmanship, science/technology, gardens, food, and birds. 4-H provides opportunities for youth leadership development, public speaking, and pathways to college scholarships.

• Farming: Sharing the latest research and education on ways to increase safe, profitable local farms; education on new crops, supporting another generation of local farms; advocacy for right to farm and local farmland preservation.

• Food: Support of opportunities to promote “buying local”; nutrition education classes on food preservation (canning, freezing, drying), and healthy/seasonal recipes.

• Gardening: Providing gardening tips (and seeds); answering questions on best practices for growing plants; identification of invasive species and strategies for maintaining trees, shrubs and other plants.

• Lake Preservation: Water quality testing and education on how to keep the lakes clean; boat stewards training to conduct inspections and education to prevent invasive species from the lake.

• Quality of Life: Resources and education on money management; energy audits, life skills training to be employment ready.

Support is needed to ensure that CCE can continue to offer programs that build a stronger community and contribute to success of individuals and families. Tax deductable donations can be made online at either http://yates.cce.cornell.edu/ or http://facebook.com/CCEYates, or via a check payable to CCE of Yates County, 417 Liberty St., Suite 1024, Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527.