May 14, 2015UW Extension educators could lose jobs to budget cuts
Proposed budget cuts have University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension educators worried about their future.
Every county in the state has at least one UW Extension person in areas such as agriculture, 4-H youth development and family living programs. But that could change under a proposed $300 million budget cut in the University of Wisconsin system that's put dozens of positions at risk.
The Cooperative Extension division of UW, which includes the agriculture agents, could lose between 65 and 80 positions at the county level.
That's from 314 county-based positions in Cooperative Extension where the counties share in the costs. In addition, there are about 200 positions at the county level that are funded by grants.
It would be the most severe downsizing at Cooperative Extension since the 1980s.
According to the Journal Sentinel, UW officials expect that the budget cuts will be felt most in rural areas where “there's no fat to trim in programs that work with farms, families, youths and businesses.”