As you know, our budget for Extension at the state was cut last fiscal year by 5 percent during the pandemic and we are beginning this fiscal year from that starting place. This reflects approximately a $3 million dollar reduction across both years, and we are continuing to be frugal to assure that we can continue to maintain our people and our programs as the economy continues to work its way back to pre-pandemic levels. I am happy to say that with all that has transpired this last year, we have been able to keep our people employed, we have avoided furloughs and reductions in force, all while having just providing a two-year bridge for IT (which proved to be incredibly helpful as COVID required a huge pivot to online and virtual). We will need to continue to be, as always, excellent stewards of the dollars we receive. We have a tremendous team within Extension and at the college (especially Adam Ward and Dean Kress) who are continuing to tell the story of Extension and the college’s success in meeting the needs of our clientele, especially in the face of the challenges during 2020.
You all have been extraordinarily successful in meeting the needs of our communities in new and innovative ways while balancing the health and safety of your colleagues, clientele, and loved ones. This effort has not gone unnoticed, and we continue to have the support of our local funders. Our county appropriations has remained level or slightly increased during this pandemic. Out of 68 of 88 counties reporting (77 percent), the overall average was a 3 percent increase over COVID-adjusted 2020 appropriations.
- 8 counties have a decrease (most proactively planned).
- 32 counties have been held flat.
- 28 counties have a slight increase.
This speaks loudly to the value you bring to each community. Thank you!