MOUNT GILEAD — Morrow County OSU Extension Advisory Committee met last Tuesday for quarterly reports and updates. Several committee members said that the question came up of how Extension programs are funded.
Levy Committee Chairman Erin Bender said, “We need to make it clear that our extension programs are funded by a combination of state and county levy funding.”
Morrow County’s levy funds are needed in order to obtain the state funding. The state funding is voted on by the legislature as part of the state budget.
State and Federal funding contributes 50 percent of the extension educators’ salaries. No Ohio State University athletics, tuition or medical center funds are used for extension programs. OSU provides and cooperates on some programs, but money to operate and have programs and educators in the county does not come from the university.
Advisory Committee Chairman Eddie Lou Meimer pointed out that this is a .5 mill levy renewal for five years. The annual amount per household is $15.50 on $100,000. The levy began in 2009 and was renewed in 2014.
It is on the Nov. 5 ballot.
There was general agreement of the committee that residents need to know that there will be no 4-H or Extension programs if the levy doesn’t pass or no county funding is made available.
4-H Advisor Betty May added that not only will there be no 4-H clubs in the county without the levy, but youth can’t go across county lines to participate in another county’s 4-H program. More than 3,700 youth participated through schools, 4-H clubs, career workshops, STEM programming and other OSU Extension education programs in Morrow County.
The advisory committee said there are also many programs outside of 4-H that are organized and taught by the extension educators such as money matters, master gardening, canning and pressure canning, serve-safe certification for food handlers , tree pruning, and soil analysis among the many programs.
More than 2,200 individuals participate in the agriculture and horticulture programs. 21 participants from 16 local business completed the required the food handler certification.
Bender thanked all who have donated money to fund the mailings and leaflets for the levy. She said there will be a billboard going up soon for the levy.