Should extension programs in Bonner County receive funding? Share your opinion with Bonner County's Commissioners.
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Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
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Funding Extension in Bonner County
Bonner County Commissioners are Supporting Extension for 2012-13 | County Commissioners Can Receive Resident Feedback
Bonner County Commissioners have agreed to fund Bonner County Extension programs for FY 2012-13. UI Extension has had productive conversations with Bonner County Commissioners regarding the funding the office in Bonner County. Bonner County residents can leave their feedback on Extension's value with the Bonner County Commissioners through the following methods:
By mail: Board of County Commissioners, 1500 Hwy 2, Suite 308, Sandpoint ID 83864
By e-mail: email@example.com
By phone: (208) 265-1438
Extension encourages that any comments be appropriate and respectful in nature, reflecting personal opinions, testimonials and/or communicating about Extension programs. The convenient form below will send comments directly to the County Commissioners.
About Extension in Bonner County
In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act (1914) established the National Extension System. Shortly after, Bonner County and the University of Idaho entered into a partnership to provide cooperative Extension programming to county citizens. Extension services to local constituents come from this partnership that utilizes federal, state and county funding.
For every dollar Bonner County invests in Extension, there is a return of $1.53.
When the value of volunteer hours for Extension is factored in, the return in Bonner County is $1.53 for every dollar invested.
In brief: federal Smith-Lever funds and state-appropriated funds are routed through each state’s land-grant university to support Extension; this covers salaries for Extension educators in Idaho counties. Counties provide funds for support staff, local office operations and travel.
By the Numbers
The most recent fiscal year data show the contributions that each partner – County and University – makes and, in addition, the value that Extension-generated grants brought to the community:
Bonner County $82,462
[Does not include utilities and office space contributions]
University of Idaho $126,014
[Includes state appropriations, federal Smith-Lever funds - $126,014 and University-based Extension grants - $29,240]
Value of Volunteers $188,397 [More than 12,000 hours in community gardening, forestry, master gardeners, 4-H, and youth development; dollar values based upon Corporation for National & Community Service methodology]
Highlighted Extension Impact in Bonner County:
Horticulture and Small Farms
Extension created an extensive 9-week North Idaho Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) program, preparing local citizens for their CNP exams. This program enhances green industry professional expertise and promotes expansion of local green industry sector. In just this first year, CNP graduates fielded over 1,000 requests for assistance at three local businesses.
To address a steadily increasing small-acreage farming population, educational programs were conducted in direct marketing, pesticide recertification, a beginning “small scale farming” course, plus the Bonner County Farm Tour.
Certified Master Gardener volunteers provide assistance answering gardening questions of local homeowners. They provide information so residents can minimize environmental and water quality impacts through appropriate use of lawn/garden products.
4-H and Youth Development Programs
Annually, more than 500 youth gain vital life skills including leadership, citizenship, communications and community outreach with support by over 160 adult volunteers.
4-H volunteer leaders give more than 8,000 hours of service annually.
Studies show that 4-H Youth participants are 50 percent less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors (including drinking, shoplifting, illegal drug use, and property damage) than their non-4-H peers, saving substantial juvenile justice related costs.
Extension Nutrition Program
In FY 2011, the county’s Extension Nutrition Program (ENP) used $16,000 in grant funds to educate 911 members of low-income, food stamp-eligible families to eat healthier and reduce disease risks.
An additional 468 low income, food stamp eligible people from Bonner County obtained information from the Extension Nutrition Program on how to eat well for less from health fairs, information tables and food demos.
Over the last two decades, Bonner County forest owners have been an essential source of supply to local forest products companies. These forest owners harvest an average of 58 million board feet of timber annually worth over $23 million, supporting living wage jobs here from wood products harvest and manufacturing.
A growing number of forest product retailers want to sell forest products that can be certified as harvested from sustainably managed forests. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) – the forest certification program that most Idaho mills participate in – requires loggers to be trained in forestry best management practices. Bonner County Extension logger training efforts aid Idaho forest product companies’ efforts to increase Idaho’s share of global markets for certified wood products.
Last year, 131 people attended 7 Extension workshops and field days held in Bonner County for forest owners. Many Bonner County forest owners attended workshops in other counties. In general, more than 80 percent of the participants indicate they will improve specific forest management practices to more sustainably grow wood and biomass to support Bonner County’s economy, reduce fire risk in wildland urban interface areas, and reduce forest insect and disease issues.
Over the last five years, county funding for local Extension operations has leveraged more than $12,500 /year in supplemental program support for Bonner County forest owners, from other panhandle counties, the Idaho Department of Lands, and the U.S. Forest Service.