My good friend Bug Girl just posted a very disturbing entry to her own blog. Apparently the Michigan legislature intends to abandon the state’s Cooperative Extension Service.
This is just simply embarrassing, akin to the legislation in Kansas concerning evolution and creationism. Is that the kind of reputation that Michigan wants? Of course not. Extension agents help people across the entire globe because they are literally and figuratively plugged into networks of other professionals, trading ideas and helping each other in myriad ways. No state can afford to essentially operate in a social, economic, or scientific vacuum, but that is what is going to happen if the legislators don't see the error of their ways.
It is my humble opinion that there are no more important people than extension service personnel because they serve as the public face of science, educating the masses in a variety of formal and informal ways. They also serve as mentors to young students of science and agriculture via 4-H and other programs.
I urge you to lend your voice of support to the comments calling for an end to this budget-cutting nonsense over at Bug Girl’s Blog. Together, we can stop this and help ourselves as well as Michigan residents who would be so terribly hurt by an end to the Cooperative Extension Service. Thank you.