MEDFORD, Ore. — As Jackson County looks to cut the budget and to avoid dipping into the rainy day fund.
A huge cut looms for Jackson County’s OSU Extension Office and it could leave nearly 40 people without a job. The county’s budget committee approved the cuts. If approved by commissioners, several resources and education programs will be eliminated for gardeners and growers, but there are also thousands of younger victims.
“4-H is one of my way to, like, I love animals and its another way for me to do what I love, and if 4-H was cut, I’d be really sad,” said 4-H Member Madison Buck.
Madison Buck is just one of 4,000 kids in 4-H, a program that is part of the Jackson County OSU Extensions Office dedication to youth education.
“It is an incredible experience to develop responsibility and a sense of community and skills that may lead them to vocations or hobbies, and they’re gone. That opportunity is gone,” said Extension Agent Anne Manlove.
4-H covers topics that range from animal care to photography to modeling and craftsmanship, but members in Southern Oregon’s Clubs know their skill set is growing even further. The club motivates members to take leadership role and to learn what’s going on in their community, something that’s now coming full circle.
The 4-H pledge, which ever member knows, reads:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty,
my hands to larger service, and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country and my world.
Members hope those words and that purpose will stay even in the face of cuts. Commissioners are considering a putting a bond measure before the voters that would save some programs. The extension office says if nothing changes, they will remain open for the rest of the year and will close sometime between September and December. Their extension and experimentation committee meets April 24th to discuss next steps.