County Extension Service Office Closure Threatened

Piscataquis County Commissioners are recommending a significant cut to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis county office and if approved would close the office – resulting in loss of jobs, terminating all UMaine Extension Piscataquis county programming and reallocation of remaining staff to other parts of the state.

Cooperative Extension’s successful educational programs result from a federal, state and county partnership.
Since 1919, when the Maine legislature passed the County Extension Act, the University of Maine has been in all Maine communities with a local county office that is funded by county government. A quick look at the Extension’s Web Site will demonstrate the wide variety of programs ranging from 4-H and gardening to nutrition and a Senior Companion Program.

Mary Annis from Valley Grange attended a recent meeting on the subject and tells us that while a number of speakers made good points in favor of keeping the C.E.S. operating, “it doesn’t look good.” A representative from the University of Maine indicates that if the County fails to fund its share the office will close. At this point the County Commissioners appear to be leaning towards not supporting the office, but another hearing is scheduled for November 16th, 7 PM at the Superior Court House in Dover Foxcroft.

P.S. Since this post has generated a lot interest (traffic) I thought I’d add a link to the article by Diana Bowley in the Bangor Daily News. There’s a bit more detail than I’ve given here.