Meeting planned to keep UC extension afloat

Faced with the potential loss of a grower-supported trust fund that has helped keep the University of California cooperative extension office afloat in Fresno, extension advisors are hoping that a new trust fund can be developed.

The current trust fund runs out after the 2012-13 budget year.

Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson has agreed to work with the cooperative extension to develop a new trust fund. Acting as himself and not in a supervisor role, Larson, a strong supporter of the cooperative extension, has planned a luncheon meeting June 25 at the Downtown Club in Fresno. Various agricultural organizations will be invited to discuss how to start a new trust fund.

The trust fund has helped fill a gap to keep grower education programs going and to keep advisors on the job. In the coming year, extension costs are estimated at $433,572. The county’s contribution is $294,796.

The trust fund and charges for services help fill the remainder in the extension budget.

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