State budget cuts threaten county Extension office
By Annette Tait
The $4.1 million reduction in funds for the North Dakota State University Extension program and an interim study by the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE) have led to recommendations that threaten possible closure of the Oliver County Extension office.
The 13.9 percent reduction in funding was part of overall cuts to the state university system budget during the 2017 Legislative session. In addition, SBARE was tasked with an interim study to review the duties and responsibilities of the Extension Service, consider potential program changes, and recommend means to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the service.
The concern for Oliver County is that SBARE’s Phase I recommendations no longer support an Extension agent located in each county and also significantly increase the county’s share of the costs.