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Indiana County, PennsylvaniaDepartment of Human Services
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Resource Directory

Last Updated On: 09/02/2020
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Penn State Extension of Indiana County

Organizational Information

Parent Organization

The Pennsylvania State University and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Vision, Mission and/or Purpose of Organization

to extend nonformal outreach educational opportunities to individuals, families, businesses, and communities throughout Pennsylvania. To enable the Commonwealth to maintain a competitive and environmentally sound food and fiber system and prepare youth, adults and families to enhance the quality of their lives and participate more fully in community decisions.

History of Organization

Cooperative Extension is a key component of the largest educational delivery system in the world, the Land Grant University system. The Cooperative Extension Service system was created by the U.S. Congress because of concern for the education of the average citizen. In 1862 Congress passed the Morrill Act, which provided for a university in each state to provide education to citizens in agricultural and mechanical fields. These colleges are known today as "Land-Grant Universities." Congress soon realized that to be effective, the educational function of land-grant universities needed to be supplemented with research capabilities. The Hatch Act was passed in 1887 to provide for the establishment of research farms where universities could conduct research into agricultural, mechanical, and related problems faced by rural citizens. Congress passed the Smith Lever Act in 1914. This act provided for the establishment of the Cooperative Extension Service. As a result of the Smith Lever Act, there are now Extension offices in every county in Pennsylvania which serve to "extend" information which has been developed on campus and research stations across the state. Over the last century, extension has adapted to changing times and landscapes, and it continues to address a wide range of human, plant, and animal needs in both urban and rural areas. Regardless of the program, extension expertise meets public needs at the local level. Although the number of local extension offices has declined over the years, and some county offices have consolidated into regional extension centers, there remain approximately 2,900 extension offices nationwide. Increasingly, extension serves a growing, increasingly diverse constituency with fewer and fewer resources.

Funding Sources

Federal, State, County government; grants, donations, gifts, endowment, fund raising.

Contact Information

Key Leader(s)

Thomas Beresnyak -  Client Relationship Manager

Contact Number(s)

724.465.3880 - Telephone

724.465.3888 - FAX

Contact Email(s)

Web Addresses

Primary Address

827 Water Street
2nd Floor
Indiana, PA, 15701

Service Information

Service Area

Indiana County

Service Description

We provide research based knowledge to all Indiana County citizens on important current and emerging issues pertaining to agricultural, food and fiber system; natural resources and the environment; children, youth, and families; and economic and community development. As part of The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences, our goals are to: " empower the agricultural system with knowledge that will improve competitiveness in domestic production, processing, and marketing; " ensure an adequate food and fiber supply and food safety through improved science based detection, surveillance, prevention, and education; " enable people to make health-promoting choices through research and education on nutrition and development of more nutritious foods; " enhance the quality of the environment through better understanding of and building on agriculture's and forestry's complex links with soil, water, air, and biotic resources; " empower people and communities to address the economic and social challenges facing our youth, families and communities.

Service Description List Educational methods used include personal consultations, meetings, demonstrations, tours, publications, media and webinars to deliver educational programs on such topics as: 4-H and other Youth programs, Agriculture Production / Marketing, Food Safety, Gardening, Master Gardener Program, Water Quality, Integrated pest management(IPM).

Available Hours

8:30 am - 4:00 pm / Monday through Friday; Answering machine 24 hours

Fees/Cost for Services

None, except for some publications, meetings, $15/4-H member educational materials fee

Eligibility Requirements

Age requirements to be a 4-H member

Miscellaneous Information

Handicap Accessibility


Languages Spoken or Available


Speaker Available


Volunteer Use


Volunteer Need