In response to the recent economic downturn, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System is updating and fine-tuning a blueprint it has employed throughout its 100-year history to help Alabamians through difficult economic times.

Thriving in Challenging Times, a statewide educational effort launched Nov. 6, will provide Alabamians with much of the information they need to weather what may prove to be tough economic times, according to Gaines Smith, Extension director.

Southeast Farm Press will be publishing a series of articles from this effort that focus on agricultural production.

Educational outreach will target the state's row-crop and livestock producers and small-scale forestland owners, showing them how to save costs and to reduce their debt burdens.

Extension personnel at all levels will be involved in the effort.

Smith has called on Extension professionals throughout the state to identify ways to address the specific needs in their counties and regions.

“Extension educators will work across county and multi-disciplinary lines, also partnering with other agencies to reach our clients more effectively,” Smith says.