Not reassured about Casey 4-H program

April 25, 2004

Dear Editor:

The Casey County Extension District Board did not review their budget, despite the requests and concerns of county taxpayers, and effectively eliminated the 4-H program in this county.

Instead of funding the 4-H agent's position, which brought in an additional $10,000 last year in grants to support youth programs, they elected to build a meeting facility smaller than one currently available at Gateway Park.

People put time and money into what they value. Dedicated volunteers of 4-H donate our time and our money to support our youth. This district board said their decision was "a matter of priorities," their undeniable message being that a building is more important than our children.


I resent that my tax dollars are being used to support this message, that this budget was passed, and that no requests for reconsideration were entertained.

I stand alongside those individuals who spoke out on behalf of our children, in the hope that the district board might have a moment of clarity and reconsider the long-term ramifications of their flippant decision to dismiss one agent when we cannot fill the ag agent position, still empty after seven months.

Extension services are vital to this community's economic and educational health. Now, we will have one agent to cover programming that overwhelmed three full-time agents. UK Associate Dean of Agriculture Dr. Larry Turner, said Casey might be able to regain this forfeited slot in 5-10 years.

That's a generation of our youth!

The County Extension Council could have recommended the budget be reconsidered - but did not. The Fiscal Court could have requested the budget be reviewed before being submitted for approval - it did not. The district board members could have shown concern for what the people they serve had to say - they did not. Any one of the district board members could have made a simple motion to reconsider the budget - none did.

The district board says they aren't cutting 4-H - or any extension services. No, they reassure us, they are merely cutting a position.

I don't feel reassured.

Angela Allen Parker


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