Extension has a long history of support for communities, primarily through programs such as agriculture and 4-H. When an entire community faces a crisis, however, the needs of the community can expand beyond the goals of a specific program. In the summer of 2001, Klamath Falls, Oregon experienced a crisis when a federal decision eliminated irrigation water to over 1200 families farming more than 220,000 acres. The Klamath County Extension Office recognized the role they could play and organized and facilitated three countywide meetings to identify needs and strategies for action. The actions that evolved from the meetings were substantial, and the Extension office learned several key lessons about responding to crisis.

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