Friday, December 07, 2012

Council Launches “Friends of Greene County Extension”

The Greene County Extension Council has officially launched a fundraising effort known as “Friends of Greene County Extension.”

During November, Council members and a few county residents donated $4,500 to kick-start the campaign. Over 4,000 Greene County residents then received letters by mail with donation forms and information the first weekend of December. Corporate sponsorships are also being sought as part of a goal to raise $40,000 in 2013.

A giving form is also available on the Greene County Extension website at By January, a name listing of those who are “Friends of Greene County Extension” will be posted and made public.

The fundraising campaign has become necessary due to a 90% cut in local support provided by the Greene County Commission. Since MU Extension is considered a core function of county government as outlined in state law, County Commissions statewide provide support for a local office. MU Extension then provides a specialist to the county according to Carl Allison, chairman of the Greene County Extension Council.

“In Greene County, the numbers of Extension staff and specialists have been cut since Commission funding has been dropped to 1961 levels. This lack of local support makes it very difficult, nearly impossible, to provide local programming,” said Allison.

George Deatz, a community volunteer and past president of Friends of the Garden, served on the Greene County Extension business plan committee. He says the importance of direction provided by the plan cannot be overstated.

“Greene County Extension is an important Park Partner and has a huge impact on the Springfield Botanical Gardens,” said Deatz. “Helping keep Greene County Extension as a strong partner is very important long term to residents of Greene County and the Botanical Center and gardens.”

The Greene County Extension Council is an elected governing body established in Missouri state law as a function of county government.


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