Big 'Brain Drain' Begins, Say Critics

SDSU Extension cuts will hurt state's economic development.

Published on: Jul 12, 2011

Cuts to SDSU Extension Service took effect July 1 and some state leaders aren't happy about the move.

The Extension Service is consolidating all counties offices into seven regional centers, cutting staff, closing a testing laboratory.

"This is the biggest brain drain on the youth and educated adults in South Dakota since the closing of USD Springfield, says State Rep. Frank Koucek, of Scotland.

"The loss of jobs in every county in the state, the loss of experiment farm research and quality non bias research, the end of quality soils and plant pathology testing and many other factors make this a bad move by the Board of Regents and SDSU. We shall and must do better for the people of South Dakota."

Linda Burg Wessington Springs Chairperson for Extension Partners Advocacy group stated, "It is important for people who have utilized extension services to step up and make their views heard to policy makers. It is time 4H families, master gardeners, livestock and grain producers, pesticide applicators, and many others who have benefited from extension over the years contact their legislators about these massive cuts.

State Rep. Peggy Gibson [D] Huron says, "I oppose cutting extension because of the education and research services provided tour rural communities. Extension provides vital information to our rural and urban communities. Cutting funding to these programs will cripple agriculture. Unemployment by cuts in research and education is not a way to grow our economy. I believe education is a great way to grow South Dakota."

Bob Woerman, SDSU advocate from Sioux Falls says, "The 2012 state budget is in place, but I am concerned about the long term damage it will have on South Dakota youth for years to come. The campaign to keep our youth in South Dakota is certainly not enhanced by what is taking place. There is nearly unlimited educational potential from the extension service that all starts with the tie to South Dakota State University, a land grant university."

Source: Frank Klouceck