LET Remember good things thatExtension once did for rural Minnesotans

There was a time when the University of Minnesota was connected to the citizens of rural Minnesota through the Extension Service.

Now, as effectively stated in a recent editorial in Agri News, the University of Minnesota -- including the Extension Service -- turns its back on rural Minnesota when times are tough.

There was a time when citizens of rural Minnesota had access to the expertise at the University of Minnesota through contact with the local county Extension office.

Now that access for many may be over 100 miles away at some regional center. There regional centers will certainly be no substitute for the local office.

There was a time when agriculture and 4-H programs were a major part of the whole Extension educational responsibility.


Now, it's clearly obvious that Extension administrators are more interested in promoting social welfare programs duplicated by other agencies and/or welfare organizations.

There was a time when the Extension source was a credible source of unbiased information. Now that credibility has been destroyed. The administrators claim that a major budget deficit is responsible for terminating employment for several county faculty.

Yet, two new associate dean positions have been added to Extension administration during this same time period. The credibility has vanished with the integrity of the administration.

In a letter to Agri News earlier this summer, Harlan Anderson, in a subtle way, suggested that it was time for a change in Extension administration. I will not be that subtle. The current Extension administration has led our once proud Extension Service into chaos and confusion. It is clearly time for a major house cleaning in Extension administration.

Get people who know agriculture and farmers.

There was a time when the Extension Service was an important component of life in rural Minnesota. With the current collapse of the organization, those days are gone -- but not forgotten.

-- Cathy Rehm, Cannon Falls, MN.

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