Albert Lea will get regional Extension bureau

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) &045; The University of Minnesota Extension Service on Monday announced sites for 18 regional offices as part of a restructuring that ends the service’s decades-long practice of placing agents in all 87 counties.

More than 100 communities expressed interest in hosting an office after Extension officials announced the restructuring this spring to cope with budget cuts.

Officials said the 18 sites were chosen based on technology access, location, population and existing university resources.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;After careful consideration and significant consultation, we picked these communities as sites for regional centers because, across the state, they create a network to ensure all Minnesotans have access to extension,&uot; said Chuck Casey, extension dean and director.

The regional centers will be in Albert Lea, Andover, Brainerd, Cloquet, Crookston, Farmington, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Hutchinson, Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, Mora, Morris, Rochester, Roseau, St. Cloud and Worthington.

Each office will house five to 10 university staff members. They are expected to open in January 2004. Extension plans to spend the next several months working with the communities to determine where each regional center’s offices will be housed.

Last spring, Casey announced the coming change in response to budget cuts and requests from counties for more flexibility in how they contract for extension services.