CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Jackson County’s 4-H Program is facing a zero dollar budget for the next fiscal year, that means 4-H members won’t be able to show their projects next summer, because the program probably won’t exist by then.
Right now, the local 4-H Club has enough money to finish this year’s fair, so you can expect to see them this summer, but the kids who would normally buy steers in September or October for next year’s Jackson County Fair won’t buy them because there won’t be a 4-H program.
Jackson County officials are giving the extension office that runs the 4-H club a zero dollar budget, and because the county is not providing the funding, the state and federal funds go away as well. That means the 4-H members won’t be able to show off their projects at future fairs, leaving the fair with a more than two thousand missing exhibits.
“We don’t want the hole, we want the thing obviously to improve and hopefully get to resolution because they are at our hip partners in what fairs are all about,” said Jackson County Fair Manager, Dave Koelermeier.
Fair officials plan to meet with local 4-H club volunteers to try and figure out a solution. The fair manager also says he’s trying to create more business for the rest of the year, adding more events to the schedule. The final budget hearing is in June. Until then, 4-H members say they hope the community will confront elected officials about a budget change.
The 4-H Club livestock reaches even further, impacting local food banks. ACCESS Gets donations from auctioned 4-H animals. Many buyers at 4-H auctions will turn around and donate the animals to regional food banks. The food banks send off the animals to be butchered and in return get thousands of pounds of locally grown protein for families.
Regional food banks will continue to ask for donations. ACCESS does receive donations from fundraising efforts. The OSU Extension center cuts will also impact ACCESS the director says it won’t be able to offer nutrition classes to the public.