April 15, 2009
Greetings Friends of 4-H,
We're writing today to share concerns facing 4-H in Iowa. Budget cuts are happening everywhere, but one significant cut will affect the 4-H program. The Iowa House passed the Regent's budget yesterday with a cut of $361 million to education. ISU is slated to receive $184.9 million which represents a 12.82% cut. This is significant because ISU's cut is larger than that of the other regents' universities. The budget bill "Senate File 470" is currently at the Senate and will then go to conference committee. We know preliminary plans are to cut approximately $4.5 million from Extension and $500,000 from the 4-H program. You can make a difference. We all know the value of Extension and 4-H to Iowa. Help us by sharing your passion for these programs and explaining specifically how they benefit you, your family, and your community.
These are difficult times for many. However, the proposed cut for ISU and the resulting plan to balance the reduced budget by cutting Extension and 4-H programs is unnecessary and an unfair burden - threatening the future of Iowa's youth. Please help us by: Contact your legislators THIS WEEK by phone or e-mail (it only takes a few moments) (http://www.legis.state.ia.us/aspx/Legislators/LegislatorInfo.aspx) Encourage them to restore the cuts in Senate File 470 to 4-H and ask them to insert language in the budget bill that prevents Extension and 4-H from absorbing such a great share of the cut.
PLEASE NOTE: 4-H is funded through the Board of Regents (those we've talked to have stated that they thought 4-H was funded by education and that "education was fine." This is not the case.) $500,000 would be an investment in our future and this will be paid back many times by the wonderful things our 4-H youth and alumni are doing.
Specifically, if you know people in these counties: Palo Alto, West Pottawattamie, Polk, Johnson, Dubuque or Fayette ask them to personally contact their legislators in the House and Senate Leadership about these cuts.
Write a letter to the editor As 4-H youth, parents and alumni you have powerful stories to share. We have prepared two sample letters here that you may use and include your own personalized message. Tell of the impact 4-H has had on you and your community.
Please forward this email and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Dennis H. Goering
2008-2009 Iowa 4-H Foundation President
Phone: (515) 294-1537