Extension budget passes committee

NORWICH – Next year’s proposed budget for agriculture and livestock programs in 2008 passed through a county committee last week despite opposition from the supervisor from Pharsalia.

The budget for Cornell Cooperative Extension asks for approximately $10,000 to afford a grant writer who was employed by the agency two years ago. The Extension was awarded the same amount last year to fund the position, but the amount came from the county’s set-aside pool of economic development funds.

“I was told they didn’t want to see me back for that this year,” Executive Director Keith Severson told members of the committee last Tuesday.

Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, asked for specific numbers as proof that the fund developer’s work was benefiting the farming industry.

“I see this leading into social programs that others (departments) already cover,” he said. “When does it end? We went back to our roots - agriculture and 4-H - now we are going into schools? It looks like we are headed in that direction, back to those days that anything that sounds like a good cause, we are going to chase it around and throw money at it.”

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