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AUSTIN EDITION - Mower seeks to be regional center

From staff reports

Mower County took the first steps Tuesday to become a regional center for the Minnesota Extension Service.

Because of cuts in state funding, the service, which operates programs such as 4-H, is consolidating its offices in each county into about 20 regional centers that will be funded by state and federal dollars. Most of the experts will be there while individual counties will have satellite offices that counties will fund for programs such as 4-H, said county extension educator Jerry Tesmer.

Regional centers will have up to 10 employees, so getting a center for Mower would mean more income as well as a chance to have Extension experts closer, Tesmer said.

If the county wants to be a regional center, it has to move fast because criteria for which counties will be centers will be announced this month. The winners will be announced in July and centers will open in January, he said.

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The board unanimously voted to seek to become a regional center.

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