As a graduate of the University Of Georgia Warnell School Of Forestry and Natural Resources, an active voter in the 11th district, and a concerned citizen, I would like to voice my displeasure over the proposed budget cuts at UGA, and the programs that will be adversely affected by these cuts.

I am a third generation graduate of UGA, my grandfather, my father, and myself are all products of UGA’s South Campus and College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Two integral parts of CAES and South Campus are the 4-H program and the Extension Service. These two entities provide immeasurable benefit to every county in the state, especially our more rural counties. The proposed budget cuts are slated to cancel the 4-H program at UGA as well as cut half of the positions within the Extension Service. To remove such vital parts of our states agricultural education, history, future, and success would be in direct contrast to what UGA was founded for. Lest we forget that UGA was our nation’s first Land Grant Institution for higher learning established with focus on the teaching of agriculture, consumer economics, and related fields.

As a participant in 4-H activities growing up and a family member of a retired county extension agent, I am all too aware of the benefits supplied by both of these services. County extension agents have, for generations, been a friend and confidant to our farmers, and stalwarts of service in our communities. 4-H has touched many young lives, and inspired countless young people to pursue careers in agriculture, our state‚s economic backbone.

Let us think about what we, as a people and as a government, are doing here. Make sacrifices when and where necessary, but let us not cut our legs from under ourselves by breaking the very pipeline that brings dedicated talent and devoted service to our states agricultural industry.

There are two words that can put this into perspective, food and fiber. How do a people and an economy survive, or even exist without these two things? They do not. So, to my representatives in the state legislature, the Georgia Board of Regents, and UGA administration, I urge you to carefully consider where and how you implement your budget cuts.

We all must sacrifice in this time of economic struggle. However, two things I will carefully consider before making a sacrifice are my food and my fiber. I would hope my government and its educators would do the same.



Paul Herndon

Moultrie

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