Pest Pinochle – Fun for the whole family

If you are one of those people who pay attention to developments in online education there is a fair amount of talk about these days about the “gamification” (a ungainly term at best) of learning. But there is nothing new or earth shattering about the idea of using ‘play’ to engage learners and deepen understanding. The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program is well aware of this fact and has used an old school approach to educate about IPM practices.

pest-pinochlePlaying cards is a time honored way to pass the time and create social bonds in many communities. I grew up in a rural community and can recall many nights spent around the table with friends and relatives playing pitch or pinochle or rummy. Successfully merging this tradition with an educational intent is a great example of creatively re-shaping extension education to reach a target audience.

Want to learn how to play Pest Pinochle? Whether you want to learn about pests in the home or what the farmer down the road is doing, there’s a pinochle deck for you! Check out the IPM_pinochle_instructions (pdf).

To get your own Pest Pinochle decks, contact Karen English,, 315-787-2624.

You can learn more about the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program – Just click on this link.

Is e-X-tension relevant? A comment we received, and a question for you.

We received this comment about eXtension, and would be interested in any responses you might have. Does eXtension represent an attempt to revitalize extension work, or does the story of eXtension provide a cautionary tale?

“I believe that the site was created with the idea that it would be the vehicle for reconsidering, or re-imagining, extension. My perception is that it has not been successful beyond a few specific interest groups. I’m involved with a community of practice that has been very active, but our own websites get far more ‘hits’.

Envisioned as a sort of ‘wikipedia’ -type collaborative effort, it has a very rigid structure, and it focuses on branding ‘extension’ as the service, rather than making information easy to find. With search engines being the first line of inquiry, why would anyone go to the ‘eXtension’ site?

Is the overall eXtension effort salvageable? If one takes away the ‘wiki’, what value does it add? Or is it another entrenched bureaucracy?”

Rooted in community

From the beginning,CCE has always been deeply rooted in communities across New York State. The tradition of the county agent (now educator), connected to Cornell but living and working in the local community, has evolved over time to meet new needs and challenges. But it has been, and still is, one of the distinguishing features of extension work in our state. This short video documents a community art installation that just took place here on campus, but speaks to our deeply rooted tradition.