County to fund extension office programs

Extension service programs in Anoka County will continue under a renewal agreement with the University of Minnesota Extension Service approved by the Anoka County Board.

On the recommendation of its Management Committee, the new agreement is for three years, Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015.

The Extension Service provides Anoka County 4-H youth development, Master Gardener and health and nutrition programs with the county paying for four staff positions, both full- and part-time.

They include 2.35 full-time equivalent 4-H program coordinators for the 4-H youth development and Youth Teaching Youth programs in the county as well as a .60 full-time equivalent horticultural program coordinator to work with master gardeners, according to the agreement.

The cost to the county is $193,373, which is the same as 2012.

According to a letter to the county board from Kim Boyce, regional director, a 1 percent increase in the statewide rate for Extension Service positions has been offset by adjustments to other parts of the budget.

Under the agreement, the county’s cost is scheduled to increase to $196,264 in 2014 and $199,214 in 2015.

In a presentation to the county board at its Nov. 27 meeting, Boyce said he had been regional director based at the county’s Bunker Hills Activities Center since January, succeeding Pat Morreim, who retired.

He has been involved in the Extension Service for 24 years, including Hennepin and Ramsey counties, Boyce said.

“It is a good opportunity for men to work in Anoka County,” he said.

According to Boyce, Anoka County has one of the largest 4-H programs in the state and a very active Master Gardener program.

Boyce praised the county board for its strong, ongoing support of the Extension Service and its programs.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]