Lincoln County’s administrative legislative committee passes amendment to fund 4-H program

The Lincoln County board voted to lose some UW extension resources because of budget concerns
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - There’s hope for Lincoln County’s 4-H program. The county board was originally going to eliminate all UW Extension programs due to budget cuts.

During a meeting on Tuesday, the administrative legislative committee passed an amendment to reinstate the 4-H program into the budget. Now, the amendment will go to the county board for another vote on whether to keep the youth development program.

UW Extension partners with many organizations to create educational programs in Lincoln County.

“What we do is we help people create a positive change in communities,” said Art Lersch, the area extension director.

But the Lincoln County Board is losing many of UW Extension’s resources due to a lack of funding.

“Originally in the budget process, the proposal was to eliminate our extension office here in Lincoln county in the 2023 budget,” said Lersch.

However, a budget amendment by the committee at Tuesday’s meeting is proposing the 4-H job be reinstated.

“The administrative legislative committee passed an amendment to the budget proposal to fully fund the 4H coordinator at $45,000,” said Don Friske, the chair of the Lincoln County Board.

Now, the future of the 4-H program sits in the hands of the county board, which are optimistic about the vote.

“That will be part of the budget. We will be able to fund that. It’ll be a unanimous vote,” said Friske.

As for all of the other UW Extension programs...

“Unfortunately right now, we don’t have the funds to completely fund the UW Extension,” said Friske.

The Lincoln County Board chair said the future of the other programs will be determined by UW Extension.

“So my hope is, that the UW extension is sincere in their commitment to those programs. They’ll use their 55% to continue their funding,” said Friske.

The county board will vote on the 4-H budget amendment next Tuesday. The final budget meeting will be in November.