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Pacific Northwest agricultural education group to end operations

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A program that helps kids get educated about agriculture will come to an end in an Oregon county.
A program that helps kids get educated about agriculture will come to an end in an Oregon county.

Rural areas may often benefit from the services provided by an extension service, offices that are administered by universities.

Through these programs, both young people and adults who use farm equipment can gain insights into how to best solve agricultural problems. For example, 4-H gives children the chance to learn, while the offices also act as a knowledge bank for people in the community as a whole.

However, one such office in the Pacific Northwest will have to close up shop by Labor Day of this year, as it lacks the funding to continue to support itself. The extension service in Lane County - which is run by Oregon State University - will end operations after providing for the community for 100 years.

Commissioners in the county ended their funding of the extension in 2008. Meanwhile, a measure to continue to provide financial resources to the office failed. Steve Dodrill, staff chair for the agriculture-related group - noted that residents may still be able to access educational materials through the internet.

"Extension programs also will be available in neighboring counties that have local funding support, although Lane County residents may incur out-of-county fees for participation in those programs," Dodrill said.

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