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Viewpoint: The value of an ag agent

The value of an ag agent


This is in response to the article that Matthew Lambert wrote about the Sept. 27 Pierce County

Finance and Personnel committee meeting in last week's paper.

It scares me to think that the person sitting in the chairman's seat of our county board is comparing a county position (Ag Agent) to a wife. Well Mr. Holst, everyone in life, deserves to be happy and have the best opportunities offered to them, including the residents of Pierce County. By not having an ag agent, Pierce County will not be able to offer the many programs that have been available for the past 96 years.

Pierce County still has many dairy farms, and with that a VERY active Dairy Promotion Committee who works very hard at educating the consumers, along with all the fourth graders in our county about dairy farming. Without the support of the Extension staff, those volunteers will have no resources to continue what they so passionately believe in. Is the county board willing to have this program dissolve?

What about Pesticide Training for those farmers who plant crops in our county? Look around you folks, and I bet that once you leave your town, you will see acres and acres of cropland. Not only do these farmers raise crops to feed their animals, but they are growing the very food you eat. Without the proper training and resources, which our County Extension Ag Agent had provided, where do you send them for this? I hope our county board will be able to give the Pierce County farmers those answers.

Did you know that Pierce County is growing with hobby farmers also? Who will help them get started or answer their questions about getting the resources they need to become successful?

The Pierce County UW-Extension office offers free services to the residents of Pierce County. Everyone knows of the successful 4-H program Pierce County has, but do you know that you can become a Master Gardener? What kind of apple tree do I have? What type of bug is this? What type of weed is this and how do I get rid of it? Our Horticulture Educator can help you with those questions.

Can you check my pressure canner? Do you offer parenting classes? Where is there a bike path in River Falls we can use to stay healthy? Do you have a FoodSmart program? The answer is yes to all of these, because of the Family Living and Educating team Pierce County currently has.

I added up the years of experience the Pierce County UW Extension office has and it is over 70 years.

Budgets are tight everywhere, and everyone is always looking for more money, but please look at the programs that are offered to our county residents, or may be lost, before you make any final decisions.

Mr. Holst, everyone may not need a wife, but everyone deserves at least a friend in life to talk to.