MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H to appear on the ballot March 10

The Saginaw County Board of Commissioners voted to include a millage on the March 10 ballot that, if passed, will provide funding for the county’s partnership with Michigan State University Extension through 2030.

The Saginaw County Board of Commissioners voted to include a millage on the March 10 ballot that, if passed, will provide funding for the county’s partnership with Michigan State University Extension. The millage would stay in effect through 2030.

MSU Extension provides educational resources to residents throughout Michigan through a three-way partnership with state, local and federal governments. County boards of commissioners traditionally provide the local funding to contribute to the partnership through their general fund. Historically for every dollar the county invests, MSU Extension returns about $5 in state, federal and grant resources that are directly invested in programs and services that benefit county residents.

The Saginaw Board of Commissioners has requested a 0.1 millage to offset the county’s traditional general-fund investment. If passed, the millage will cost the average Saginaw County homeowner about $5 annually for every $100,000 in home value.

“The funds will be invested in programming such as 4-H youth development, farm management, nutrition and food safety education, Master Gardener programs, and community and economic development,” said Mark Rankin, MSU Extension district director.

Rankin notes the 16 MSU Extension staff members based in Saginaw are also able to lean on more than 600 colleagues throughout the state to help them serve Saginaw County residents. Notable programming over the last few years includes helping farmers manage financial risk and stress, nutrition and budgeting education for those eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a community and economic development program that focuses on food access, farmers markets, and leadership training for both youth and adults.

MSU Extension is also the umbrella organization for Michigan 4-H that provides youth development programs. Last year, more than 2,000 Saginaw County youth participated in 4-H, which provided opportunities for youth to explore careers, learn about health and nutrition, take part in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, and develop new skills.

Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director, said that MSU is committed to helping Saginaw County work through this difficult economic period.

“Our partnership with Saginaw County is very important to us,” Cudney said. “The first MSU Extension agriculture agent began working in Saginaw County in 1913. That means we have a 100-year history of serving Saginaw County residents and we want to continue this partnership with relevant programming that will benefit the community, business owners, families and individuals.”

For more information about MSU Extension in Saginaw County and the millage, visit extension.msu.edu/SaginawCoMillage.

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