Ag, extension supporters request more funding

Just a tidbit about last week’s discussion of an appropriation bill for the University of Minnesota’s agriculture experiment station and extension service.

One of the authors, Sen. Doug Magnus (R-Slayton), pushed for higher appropriations, saying:

“In order for our state to be strong, we have to have a strong agriculture. We’re the second largest employer in the state.”

Funding has declined for the two items has declined from $113 million in 2002-03 to $98 million this year, and would shrink to $85.7 million under Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget.

Al Levine, dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, told the committee:

“Funding is seeing significant cuts — moreso that many other areas of the university. That’s the disturbing part to us.”