Friday, September 11, 2009

Parma Extension Update

Parma--Steve Ritter photo

Listening Sessions Seek Alternatives

Caldwell--The University of Idaho held the first Parma Research Center listening session last night to a full house of concerned farmers and Canyon County citizens.

The U of I's decision to close the center comes after the Idaho Legislature mandated budget reductions – a $3.2 million reduction in state funding for Agricultural Research and Extension Service for fiscal year 2010.

University of Idaho officials told the packed meeting that if groups could raise $250,000 in donations that the Center could stay in business until next June, buying time until a long term solution can be ironed out.

The Idaho Statesman reported that the 70-or so growers committed to contribute. Farmers attending applauded former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig when he stressed the importance of specialty crops to Idaho's agricultural and economic future - and the importance of the research center to those crops.

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