Randolph County could lose its 4-H Program

10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Friday, January 26 2018 Jan 26, 2018 Friday, January 26, 2018 8:22:00 PM CST January 26, 2018 in News
By: Sydney Olsen, KOMU 8 Reporter
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MOBERLY - The University of Missouri's extension in Randolph county could close its doors, closing the 4-H program along with it. 

Randolph County Commissioners signed the 2018 budget earlier this week. The budget contained cuts for certain programs including the MU extension office.

The extension office asked for a $35,000 budget, but was granted the state minimum of $10,000, instead. 

KOMU 8 News reached out to the Randolph County Commission office for comment, but did not receive a receive a response. 

The chairwoman of the Randolph County extension council, Marla Stegall said the council's budget of $30,000 in 2017 was barely enough to keep the office's doors open. She said the budget cut this year will affect the extension and the 4-H program even more. 

"We're already working on a bare minimum budget as it is. We cut every corner we can possibly do to make this office stay open," Stegall said. "Without the extra funding from the county, if we cannot raise the other $25,000, we physically will not have a 4-H program in this county any more."

Stegall said 4-H teaches young children responsibility and leadership. She said she hopes the program encourages participants to return to their community in the future to help it grow. 

The treasurer of the MU extension office, Theresa Hyatt, said 4-H teaches students how to manage their life. She said it gives students the opportunity to learn to balance things like hobbies, sports and school. 

Extension employees predict the office will be able to keep its doors open only through July, unless they are able to raise funds through donations or fundraising. 

The extension council called for an emergency meeting on Jan. 30 to discuss the new budget, as well as possible ways to raise money. 

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