Monday, March 1, 2010

A Public Service Announcement

Last week, Dr. Holly Scoggins, one of the Garden Professors, from Virginia Tech, our Land Grant University counterpart for the Commonwealth of Virginia, posted this sobering account of her state’s budget woes, and its effect on Cooperative Extension.

Cooperative Extension has been prone to budget cuts for quite a while now – for most states, the fat was long ago cut away, and further cuts are going straight to the bone.

This proposed budget would effectively close down Extension in (by far) the most heavily populated areas of Virginia – Northern Virginia, the Richmond area, and the Virginia Beach area.

Go read the whole thing. These kind of budget cuts are happening all over the US, so we need to be diligent in making sure that our legislators and commissioners are familiar with what we do and realize the value of Extension and the Master Gardener program, so that Pennsylvania remains supportive.

The annual Extension Capital Day is coming up on March 9. Both Donna B. and Cindy S. have volunteered to represent Franklin County Master Gardeners on a visit to Harrisburg, along with volunteers from 4H and the farming community. You can support their efforts by contacting your local representative and reinforcing with them, the many good works that our program does for the citizens of Pennsylvania. As Dr. Scoggins said, it's not just "Plows and Cows" anymore. Web sites with contact information are here:

Senator Richard Alloway
Representative Rob Kauffman
Representative Mark Keller
Representative Dan Moul
Representative Todd Rock

UPDATE: And Happy 100th Birthday, Extension!

UPDATE II:  May be off on the 100th year.  The Smith-Lever Act which established Cooperative Extension was signed in 1914.

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