County Fair Could Lose 4-H Next Year

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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – As preparations continue for the Jackson County Fair, budget cuts are threatening one of its most beloved institutions.

OSU’s 4-H program has been running competitions and auctions for nearly as long as the fair has been around. But as county funds dry up, they’re looking for ways to stave off what could be their final years.

Officials say that lack of money leaves just enough fumes in the tank for this year and next.

“We know that we will function because of carryovers through next fiscal year,” said 4-H Extension Agent Anne Manlove. “If we can get through June next year I know we can make it through the fair, even if I have to operate out of my garage.”

One option for the program is to become a service district. It would give them dedicated funding instead of relying on dwindling general funds. But that’s if they can get the 22-thousand signatures needed to appear on the may 2014 ballot.

After that, it looks pretty grim.

“If we have no other alternatives the program goes away,” said Manlove.

4-H officials say they’re still waiting on approval to start collecting signatures for their service district run.