Ask an Expert

— Written By and last updated by Kay Morton

 Now a days if you are looking for information, I bet you “Google” it or use some other search engine. There seems to be an endless number of these sites on the web that can help you locate the answer to a question you may have. But is the response you receive accurate? Cooperative Extension nationwide has joined the search engine line up with our own Ask an Expert widget. You now have the expertise of all of the nation’s land-grant universities at your fingertips, thanks to this new web tool, offered by N.C. Cooperative Extension.

With this new online resource, Ask an Expert”, you can submit questions, via the Lee County Extension web site,, at any time of day or night. Within forty-eight hours you should received an answer by email from Extension faculty from NC State University, NC A&T State University, or other land-grant institutions.

In 2014 Cooperative Extension nationwide will celebrate its centennial. For 100 years, Cooperative Extension agents have been the premier source of credible, research-based information on many topics that consumers seek daily. Extension workers across the nation in more than 3,300 county Extension Centers have a vast assortment of education, training, and practical experiences. In addition to local one-on-one county expertise, Extension has the Ask an Expert” widget feature on our websites, which will allow you to access information with greater convenience. When you submit a question to “Ask an Expert,” the computer searches your county Extension staff first for a trained person to respond. If there is a more qualified person elsewhere in the state, that person will automatically receive your question. If the most qualified person is in another state, that person will receive your question.  Using this feature, residents can submit questions about agriculture and food, health and nutrition, home and family, lawn and garden, youth development and 4-H, forestry and environmental stewardship, money management and resource conservation, and a host of other topics.

To access the Ask an Expert” widget, visit the Lee County’s Extension website at and click the “Ask an Expert” link in the top right hand corner, above the search feature. An online question box will appear for you to enter your question and email address. Once submitted the question will be directed to Extension faculty member who has the appropriate expertise to provide accurate and timely responses.

The Ask an Expert” resource is also available at, a nationwide web site that offers an interactive learning environment.  The site delivers the best, research knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America.  It connects consumers seeking information with knowledgeable providers. The site also offers a searchable database of answers provided in response to questions submitted by other users.

While the online “Ask an Expert” resource adds another avenue to our information and provides convenient access to Extension experts, this feature does not replace our traditional methods of providing information by phone calls, emails, office visits, or farm and home visits. It just makes it more convenient for those of you who need information by the Internet or at odd hours. We still welcome your visits or calls to our county Extension center located at the McSwain Extension Education and Agriculture Center, 2420 Tramway Road in Sanford. 

Susan Condlin is the County Extension Director for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County