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March/April 2008 Cover


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UMaine Today Magazine


Perspective

John Rebar

John Rebar

Title:
Executive Director, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Research focus:
Outreach. In Somerset County, I conducted programs in 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences and home horticulture.

Years at UMaine:
23

Milestones:
A successful Extension educator for 10 years who earned three national awards. An administrator for 13 years, serving as a program administrator from 19942002. Assumed the role of program and financial administrator in 2002 and executive director in February 2007. Has served as associate director of the Maine Agricultural Center since its inception in 1999.
 

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UMaine Extension

Question: Why is this a particularly exciting time for University of Maine Cooperative Extension?

Answer: Maine is ever changing. The challenges of today and the promises of tomorrow can only be addressed through education. The people of Maine need educational information that is relevant to their daily lives and for their future. UMaine Extension has a wealth of resources that can help in agriculture, natural resources, small business, aging, nutrition, community development, parenting, youth development and more. Our work is research-based and valued as credible and reliable.

Question: What is Extension's role as part of the state's land-grant university?

Answer: As the largest outreach component of the University of Maine System, we exist in Maine communities for Maine people. We like to say we are the University FOR Maine. For everyone, everywhere we have something that can help people live the life they want.

Question: What does Cooperative Extension mean to you?

Answer: Opportunity. Extension can help people develop goals and build a process whereby they achieve their dreams and live their values. We have helped people develop business plans, create value-added products, learn public speaking skills through 4-H and a myriad of other things that shape who they are and who they want to be.

Question: What's your most memorable Extension moment?

Answer: Years ago when I was working as an Extension educator an individual came to me seeking support to develop a plan for creating a food pantry that would be supported by local community tax dollars. She needed assistance in developing her presentation to the town selectmen of two communities. What she really needed was someone to believe in her and help her refine her request. She got funding and the food pantry is still in operation today. She made it happen, yet to this day she credits me for helping her. Sometimes the difference Extension makes is hard to measure, but very rewarding.

Question: What can we look forward to from UMaine Cooperative Extension in the coming years?

Answer: Our future will be "high-tech" and "high-touch" as we build on our strengths and incorporate innovations that are cost-effective and efficient. We have excelled at personal interaction for more than 90 years. Today, we are reinventing our presence on the Internet so that our Web site will become a virtual Extension office. Our clients expect immediate access to information and resources, and we are making that possible. People also want to be able to call, meet and consult professionals who can help them achieve their goals, and we continue that work, too. We are adding to our publications catalog continuously and many items are free to download. We strive to be relevant, accessible and affordable for all Maine people.


 

UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
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Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776


The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
207-581-1110
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