Land Grant money woes
If you look on the internet, you will see that the corn-belt land grant universities, and likely more, are facing drawdowns in government funding. We are going to get lett from Extension.
Much land grant federal funding is from grants. Grants support the initiatives of the giver. That means that if you want money, you do what USDa wants, or try to write your grant to convine them you are. So, if we want to know what the land grants will be doing, we need only check what USDA is writing grants for.
Land grants are likely to start charging, increasing charges or finding more ways to partner to address program costs. There will likely be fewer "freebies" from Extension.
Some programs are likely to be cut. Rural development may be one, I've heard. Programs will likely be consolidated at higher levels. Extension offices will be further combined and serve larger areas.
Research and Extension are likely to merge together. Some colleges have already done this. It sounds good, but if you are the guy in the field and the guy in the lab is working on a different problem than yours, where are you in the priority list?
This is the time to let Extension know what you want and need, what you can live without, what you will pay for and in other ways see how you can work to protect the parts you find most valuable. Interesting times lie ahead.
Where do I get these ideas? I've heard John Lawrence of ISU Extension talk, I get communications from the U/Illinos, and I see universtiy press releases on the interent.
Re: Land Grant money woes
Don't know if your land grants use this language or not, but for years, county Extension agents have been deemed "field faculty."
My suspicion is that county Extension offices will be consolidated, and cuts in "faculty" due to budget constraints will largely come off-campus. Most people won't understand this. It will look like huge sacrifice at the university level, but will actually be pain felt in rural counties.
We're having an interesting discussion on "marginality" on Women in AG...with one US postal person giving us a lot of information about potential coming curtailments in US Mail service, especially to rural areas.
I just posted to that thread, about trash collection sites being moved to more centralized, manned locations in our county back home, and people having to drive much further to dispose of their solid waste stream, that ties back to the roadside debris thread here....
Shorter school weeks (which can impact child nutrition), less-frequent mail deliveries, and one whole family I know fairly well having to be med-flighted from the scene of their automobile crash, for access to decent trauma care.
Throw in our WIA discussion about home alarms, and how they are virtually worthless if you are mroe than five minutes from a deputy showing up in your driveway. Add in an earlier one over home invasions and increasing burglaries in rural areas. More trouble, less help when it comes.
Lots of concerns for us country people right now. Most of them tie directly back to energy costs...which is the real reason for the nuclear disaster thread. Everything boils down to some fairly elemental issues, eventually.
As always, follow the money....