Brown steps up to ‘rebuild’ CSU Extension in Valley

SAN LUIS VALLEY — Long-time Alamosa resident Larry Brown has accepted the “challenging” job of “rebuilding” the CSU Extension Service program in the San Luis Valley.

“The San Luis Valley Extension Service is not a lost cause,” said Brown, “it is a just cause! Look around our communities and it is hard not to see a mess. I believe now more than ever we need the positive influence of Extension.”

Believing in Extension is believing in the empowerment of continual life learning, that any person at any age who continues to learn is much more likely to be healthier, happier, more prosperous, and contribute more positively to their community, according to Brown.

“In Extension, everything we do fosters healthier kids and families, more prosperous farms, ranches and businesses, and stronger, more resilient communities with more pride,” said Brown.

Brown moved to the Valley in 1986 serving as the CSU Extension Livestock Agent for the San Luis Valley Area, a position he held for almost 9 years.

Raised on a family crop and livestock farm in southern New Mexico, he is also a third-generation Extension agent.

“I’ve got Extension in my DNA,” said Brown jokingly. “And because of my generational experience with Extension, I know better than most just how powerfully Extension educational programs can contribute to the health and prosperity of a community. Beginning with our flagship 4-H youth program and continuing with farm, ranch, and business management, family health, nutrition, and finances, and community development, the potential value of the Extension model of learning from experience is huge.”

Because he also had the desire to be in business for himself, he resigned as the livestock agent in May of 1995 and has been self-employed since.

Brown has served on the Extension advisory committee for the past four years and reports that despite a genuine effort by good people on staff and on the committee, the program has lost funding, lost agent positions, and as a result, lost effectiveness.

“It is hanging on by a thread. In our own business we’ve had successes and failures,” said Brown. “What I’ve learned from both is what has prepared me to step up and lead this very challenging mission. With a dedicated, skeleton staff, and with help from the community, we will rebuild Extension, creating great service and value for the Valley community, and restoring it to the highly respected organization it can be.”

Brown added that Extension is “here to serve you. And to serve you well and successfully rebuild, we need your help. Let us know your needs, ideas, suggestions and requests.”

To reach Brown or to learn more about CSU Extension Service programs, call 719-852-7381.