Well Fed Neighbor

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Funding Crisis Greene County Extension Center

An open letter to the Greene County Commissioners:

Jim Viebrock, Presiding Commissioner
Harold Bengsch, Commissioner District #1
Roseann Bentley, Commissioner District #2

Just a note to let you know my level of concern has increased reference the lack of Greene County’s financial support for the Greene County Extension Center’s office operating budget. Of course the office is currently located inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center which increases the office’s value as a community asset.

As you may remember I have written about this subject in the past but things are starting to come to head and it looks like a very important member of the MU Extension staff is about to be reassigned to work out of another county.

The employee, Velynda Cameron, is the current 4-H Youth Development Specialist for University of Missouri Extension. It appears Ms Cameron could leave as early as September 1. Myself and many others are very concerned about the impact this will have on the many families and children served by her programs that are currently headquartered out of the Botanical Center office.

I recently read that, “Greene County is currently the lowest per capita funder of a county extension program in the state, yet the demand for our services in an urban county continues to increase and many of those services are mandated to be given free-of-charge”. If this is correct I would say to have to reduce the level of staffing and ultimately force the office to close and relocate to another county, due to inadequate Greene County funding, would not be in the best long term interests of the county citizens.

The needed funding request just makes good business sense, the current $10,000 minimum for the Greene County Extension office needs to be increased to a minimum $72,000 now. That would make it possible to keep the office open and operational, keep the staff in place, and continue to receive the large amount of money Missouri University currently spends in Greene County on staff, programs and resources. The citizens of Greene County deserve no less.

Thank you for your consideration and continued work on behalf of Greene County.

Sincerely,


George Deatz
Springfield, MO 65810


Note from George Deatz:

You ask, what can we as Greene County residents do? It’s so simple! Please contact all three members of the Greene County Commission and request they provide at least $72,000 in needed funding for the local MU Greene County Extension office.

Greene County Commission
933 N. Robberson.
Springfield, MO 65802
Phone: (417) 868-4112
Fax: (417) 868-4818

Presiding Commissioner: Jim Viebrock
E-mail: JViebrock@greenecountymo.org
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Commissioner District #1: Harold Bengsch
E-mail: HBengsch@greenecountymo.org
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Commissioner District #2: Roseann Bentley
E-mail: RBentley@greenecountymo.org

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