“It helps guide our program and helps us decide what we need to offer more of or develop,” said London Jones, the Burnet County Family and Community Health extension agent. “So, if there’s a lot of people who say there needs to be more land management assistance, Kelli (Tarla, the agriculture and natural resources agent) would create more programs about that. Or, if there’s concerns about diabetes, I would offer more programs about nutrition and diabetes.
“The results have definitely shaped what we do,” Jones added.
Along with county programs, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service uses the survey in statewide efforts. The service is in all Texas counties, with each one tailored to the community.
In previous years, the AgriLife service has conducted the survey in person, but it has moved online this year. Jones said the goal is to get 10 percent of the county’s residents to take the survey.
The Texas Speaks survey is anonymous and takes about 10 minutes. Along with direct questions, the survey allows for more open feedback on additional topics.
The online survey covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, food availability, land management, youth leadership development, and mental health care. The survey taker ranks each item as a strength for their community, needing work in their community, not relevant in their community, or unsure. People can submit other topics or issues they think need to be considered for their community.
The survey taker can provide their name and email if they wish to learn more about AgriLife service opportunities in their county, but that is optional.
“We’re really hope people take the survey because it does help us provide the types of programs and services they want,” Jones added.
Call the Burnet County AgriLife Extension Office at 512-756-5463 for more information on its services and programs or visit its website.