Hope Remains for OSU Extension

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MEDFORD, Ore. – A service district would set the extension up for dedicated county funds as opposed to relying dwindling general funds.

Normally it takes thousands of signatures just to get that on the ballot, but with commissioners’ help, the extension could be getting a free pass. For Braydon Dunbar, 4-H runs generations deep.

“Both of his parents were involved in 4-H.,” Dunbar’s grandmother, Kim Skomerza commented. “I was involved in 4-H when I was a child, he’s my grandson.”

This year was Braydon’s first in the program. After showing his cows and lambs, it seems he’s off to a good start.

“I got reserve champion in showmanship,” Dunbar said. “It uses up a lot of time, and it’s really fun.”

The question is how long will the program be around for him?

“If nothing changes, which is just totally unreal, then extension would have to close,” Jack Duggan said, the chair of Friends of Research and Extension.

Given the funds they have remaining, that would mean just one more year for Braydon, but after today’s meeting there’s a little more hope.

“I think the commissioners are well aware that Jackson County would not be the same place without OSU Extension and Research Center,” Duggan added.

But there’s still a long way to go, it will take the help of county administrators to get the ballot measure up to par. Plus, it will take a lot of education to make sure that ballot measure isn’t for nothing.

“You’re always gonna have some arguments come forward that you didn’t expect, and we’re gonna have to be ready to respond to those,” Duggan said.

Braydon’s family counts themselves among the program’s most dedicated supporters. They say even those not enrolled in 4-H have a stake.

“It will affect their futures as well because it is raising the future leaders of our area,” Skomerza said.

Braydon says if the extension stays, so will he.

“I’d do it for a long time, until I had to be done.”

If a ballot measure does appear on the May ballot, officials say the service district tax would amount to a maximum of a nickel per $1,000 of property value.


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  1. Ed says:

    So there going to tax us for something that mean’s nothing to anybody exept those involved? I don’t care about 4-H, How does it help me, my family, or anybody that’s not envolved with them? But there going to tax me and you to pay for it. If they are going to tax us, Do it for something usefull like school’s, road’s, ect. Not to fund some kid to play with a pig. Let’s look at the real world people, nobody care’s about little Billy playing with his pig there is more crime, gang’s, drug’s, shooting’s, ect that affect them at home more. I say shut it down and use the money you would have spent on 4-H to beef up the police dept. I think it would be a better way to spend the money. And beside’s why is it always the answer to TAX TAX TAX? It seem’s to me that is alway’s the answer for the county, city, and state. It’s funny if I can’t afford something I do without, If they need something and can’t afford it they tax the people.

    1. mark says:

      AMEN Ed!
      A perfect example of local government running amok is Medford’s Utility Bill. Decades ago, the police, parks, and streets were financed by property taxes. When home owners had enough of politicians exploiting property values, they were reined in. Medford refused to live within its means, so bingo, a separate monthly tax, raised at will. A Golden Goose is born to finance generous city retirement plans, the rest of us lost years ago.
      Medford government needs some serious “house cleaning!”

  2. Fred says:

    To start with the extention service improves the quaily of the food that is grown in the area, which also helps the general economy. 4H helps train our young people to be quality Americans. Vote it down along with the libraries and put our kids on the street, maybe they can form more gangs and we can have more crime we cannot aford to pay. We can join the likes of Josephine county with no protection and education from that life style. Building great young people costs money and a nichel is by no means costly. Extention Service means a better quality of life for all of Jackson County.

  3. Patty says:

    It benefits everyone in the county to have youth involved in learning leadership and citizenship skills in 4-H. That kid who is raising a pig is learning how to budget, how to keep track of expenses, responsibility among other things. It benefits everyone who has as much as a patio garden when they can take a leaf from their plant and go in and as a Master Gardener what is wrong with the plant. It benefits us to have resources available to ask about food preservation, healthy aging, food safety, how to cultivate grapes.

  4. S says:

    Are you kidding me? 4-h has nothing to do with you or your community? who cares about little Billy playing with a pig? You have got to be the most ignorant person on here! I grew up in 4-H and had it not been for 4-H I would have been on drugs, in gangs as you pointed out. Not only did it keep me too busy to get into trouble it showed me how to have compassion, responsibility, what true hard work was and the rewards that come with it. You tell me where a 12 year old can grow something and sell it and make their own money without it involving drugs or guns besides 4-h or agriculture? Take away 4-h and you will see a huge increase in teens getting into trouble.. so yes retard it does concern you in the end!

    1. Ed says:

      They tought you compassion and responsibility? Right look how your talking to me, Calling me ignorant and a retard just because I disagree with you. Were’s the compassion? That just proves one of my point’s right there, You were thought it so how about using it. And why should a 12 year old have to worry about making money anyway? What im looking at is a new tax for 4-H, a new tax for Head Start, Hell the mayor want’s a new car let’s tax the people. Im 70 year’s old, I served for 15 years in the Army, and now I live on a very fixed income, I sometime’s have to choose between my med’s or food, And untill you have to dine on dog food from the dollar strore, Sometime’s that’s all I can afford, I might care what you have to say. And why is this? Like I said im living on a very fixed income and im being taxed and taxed to death. Everybody want’s to take and take but nobody want’s to help. So I guess what im trying to say is 4-H is no help to me at all, It’s nothing more than a tax I have to pay for nothing,

  5. S says:

    Ed.. my apologize as you are 100% correct. Name calling was immature and uncalled for and I have no excuse for my words. I am far better than that and have far to much respect than that. Please accept my apologies and my gratitude for serving this country. I support the meaning behind 4-H and activities for kids in a whole, do I agree with our government city, state, government or federal.. nope. sad reality as long as they don’t have to pay for it and they eat everyday then who care who starves to fund something. So you are correct in that aspect. I was simply defending what 4-H does for the kids of this community and all over and what it does to enrich some of their lives. Again, my apologies and even more so that our government allows any elderly to have to choose between meds and food, especially any that have served. Have a good weekend. God bless.

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