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Committee approves $16,000 to fund part-time 4-H agent
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The county has been scrambling to determine what to do since it was announced earlier this year the UT Extension service was eliminating funding for one of Warren County’s 4-H agents.Last night, the county’s Economic Development/ Agriculture Committee unanimously approved funding $16,000 for a part-time agent. The committee had previously approved funding for a full-time position, but that was rejected when it reached the county’s Budget and Finance Committee.“There are 107 4-H clubs in the county and that’s too many to visit myself,” said Jamie Harris, who is the remaining 4-H agent. “I’d have to make a decision about which schools to visit or which grades to visit and it would be the first time in a long time all the county students would not have an opportunity to participate in 4-H. A part-time person would still allow me to visit all the schools.”Even with the part-time person, Harris said she would have to scale back some of the 4-H offerings, but at least students would still have access to the program.Concerned resident Karen Spivey addressed the committee and said she was disappointed the county was going with a bare minimum approach when it comes to funding 4-H. She believes the county should fully fund another agent.Under the previous arrangement with UT Extension, Warren County paid about $16,000 of the salary of the position held by Michael Barry.