March 6, 2008

Extension Council Votes to Keep Office Open Despite County Budget Cuts

At a special meeting of the University of Missouri Extension Council held on February 4, 2008, council members voted to keep the MU Extension Center in Scotland County open through 2008 despite a minimum mandated allocation of $5,000 from Scotland County government.

Scotland County, like many rural Missouri counties, is facing economic challenges. To keep a balanced county budget required cuts to other county services as well as to extension.

The limited funds in the extension council budget, along with the $5,000 county appropriation for 2008, can support extension programming and office operations through mid-year.

It is the intent of the council to engage in a major fundraising effort to generate the additional financial resources needed to provide continued programs and services through 2008.

The extension center, located in Room 105 of the Scotland County Courthouse, will continue to be open Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Although this is the present plan, if additional funds are not raised, the extension center may have to be closed later this year. If there is no increase or an insufficient increase in the county allocation for 2009, and if there are no significant financial contributions from other sources, the office will have to be closed.

Every effort will be made to continue a strong 4-H program, to provide local agricultural producers assistance with livestock, horticulture, agri-business, agronomy, pesticide applicator training, and other residents of the community with a wide variety of programs directly related to nutrition and health, human development and family finances. However, public assistance is needed.

Individuals and organizations may make tax deductible contributions to support the on-going work of the Scotland County Extension Office at any time. Checks may be written to the Scotland County Extension Council, and mailed or brought to 117 S. Market Street, Room 105, Memphis, MO 63555. You may contact Judy Howard, County Program Director/Nutrition and Health Specialist, or Jeff Behrens, Scotland County Extension Council Chairman for more information.

“Be watching in the near future for your invitation to join our fundraising campaign,” said Behrens.

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