Spring 1991 // Volume 29 // Number 1 // Commentary // 1LET1

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Extension Needs Fiscal Entrepreneurs


Malone's response to Boone's "To the Point" column (Fall 1990) is right on target! Instead of accepting the barriers that exist and devising means to cross them, let's give more attention to eliminating them. Only such bold approaches, including major organizational changes, will get Extension where it needs to be to provide dynamic educational programs addressing societal needs in the very different world of the 21st century.

I do find one major void in both Boone's and Malone's articles, considering what all Extensionists must do to be successful in the future. They must all be fiscal entrepreneurs. The Cooperative Extension System is demonstrating increasing success with developing program entrepreneurs among its staff. However, the system is still unduly dependent on appropriations- federal, state, and county-for the fiscal fuel to drive its programs. The continuing budget cuts the system is now facing at all levels aren't aberrations-they're trends for the future. Each and every Extension staff member, regardless of location or level of responsibility, must be trained to acquire and administer private and new public resources. Otherwise, issues programming will end up as so many good ideas on bookshelves, along with a historical treatise on what Extension was and why it didn't survive!

Richard J. Sauer
President and CEO
National 4-H Council
Chevy Chase, Maryland