MU Extension gets its funding back

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MOBERLY - Randolph County commissioners reversed themselves by deciding to re-fund the county's MU Extension Office Tuesday, a move that will save the local 4-H.

The commissioners' vote last week cut the extension office's budget from $30,000 to $10,000. 

Dozens of people complained.

The commission's office said in a statement Tuesday, "News of the action spread quickly and Presiding Commissioner Truesdell faced about 100 citizens, including four state representatives and Director of Missouri Agriculture Chris Chinn, at a meeting of the Randolph Area Pachyderm Club last Tuesday night. 

Vickie Trower, Randolph County's 4-H youth program assistant, said she was, "very hurt, very disappointed and just very upset about it, because Randolph County 4-H has been here for over 50 years."

Truesdale said some commissioners capped extension office funding to $10,000 because it was lumped in with a budget for another program.

The extension's office rent alone is $9,000.

MU's helps pay for the computers in the office, pamphlets and specialist's salaries.  The extension's budget is used for employee's salaries, office rent and all expenses MU does not cover.

Randolph County Council Member Roy Morales said "it was quite a shock going from $30,000 down to $10,000, which meant this office was going to close."

Trower said the budge cut would have ended the 4-H program.

"When this office closes, everything would be gone," she said.

Trower was a part of 4-H during her childhood, along with all of her family members.

Trower said news of closing as traumatic.

"Why did it take everyone being so upset, not knowing what was going to happen," she said. 

The extension committee said it will be looking into grants for future funding, but it does not have a promised budget.