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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Federal Reductions for Extension Programs

In early January, the House, Senate and President Obama passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to avert the fiscal cliff. The legislation has significant implications for SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) in Minnesota and nationwide. In addition, on March 1, President Obama signed an order that put in effect the across-the-board government spending cuts known as "sequestration." Government agencies are now beginning to cut a total of $85 billion from their budgets between now and October 1, 2013. While the full impact of the sequestration is not yet known, Extension administration is expecting and preparing for potential budget reductions. Extension is planning for an 7.9-percent reduction in federal capacity funding (Smith-Lever and other funds).

Our current funding plan is to cover these costs from Extension's reserves, which means that Extension will not have to cut positions or programs in order to cover costs in FY 2014. Thanks to our collective wise stewardship of public and private funding (including gifts made by retirees), Extension currently has the reserves available to cover these expenses. However, we will need to continue to diversify our funding sources and continue our efforts to obtain grants, gifts and fees to offer high quality programs that meet the needs of Minnesota.

Gifts to support Extension can be made online (click on Make a Gift), or mailed to the University of Minnesota Foundation (designate Extension as gift beneficiary and fund of interest), CM-3854, PO Box 70870, St. Paul, MN  55170-3854. For questions about giving, or including Extension in your estate plan, contact Jane Johnson, Extension Development Officer, at 612-626-3717 or

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