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May 24, 2013

U of M Extension dean thanks Minn. lawmakers

Bev Durgan, On the Farm (Listen to the Audio)
May 24, 2013

Lawmakers in Minnesota wrapped up another legislative session earlier this week and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank state senators and representatives for their support of University of Minnesota Extension and other initiatives at the University of Minnesota.

A significant portion of Extension's budget comes from the state legislature via the Ag State Special. The Ag State Special is a line item in the Higher Education Bill which dedicates dollars for Extension and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. The Ag State Special helps makes University Research and Extension outreach available to all Minnesotans.

Within the Ag State Special, lawmakers directed the University to prioritize research and outreach in several different ag-related areas. Some of these include soil and water conservation, vegetable production, the development of new disease-resistant and pest-resistant crops, animal agriculture, bioenergy, consumer food safety education, organic research and outreach, soil fertility and more.

The Ag State Special also helps support the wide variety of Extension programs that impact Minnesotans in all corners of the state. In addition to agriculture, Extension addresses issues that help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better tomorrow.
Last year, well over 800,000 Minnesotans participated in Extension classes and workshops, 125 thousand youth were involved in Extension programs and 40,000 young people were involved in 4-H.
Again, my thanks to lawmakers who provided funding to University of Minnesota Extension, helping to make Minnesota a better place to live, work and play.
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