Creative thinking has paid off for the Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service. The program, which serves 5,000 community members annually, has been funded for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
Members of the Valencia County community pulled together to save the Extension Service programs, including 4-H and Master Gardeners, when the county was unable to pay its portion of the second half of the 2001-2002 budget.
Through private donations and an auction sponsored by the Farm Bureau, the agency that connects citizens with information generated by the New Mexico State University agriculture and home economic departments was able to keep its doors open through Sunday, June 30.
Sen. Michael Sanchez went to bat for the programs at the legislative level to obtain $39,920 in special appropriations.
Wednesday, the Valencia County Commission adjusted its budget for next year and produced $34,913 to cover half of the county’s annual portion of the Extension Service’s cost.
With the county’s funds and the special appropriation, the programs, which were once thought gone from the county, are alive and well for one more year.
Sometimes we, as a community, have to think outside the box to find solutions to problems. All of the efforts to keep this worthwhile program alive are commendable, and we salute them and say “Way to go, Valencia County!”