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OSU looks to restore 4-H club

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The Oregon State University Lane County Extension Service is holding two public forums to discuss restoring the county's 4-H program:


* Sept. 19, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Springfield City Hall, 225 Fifth St. in Springfield.


* Sept. 23, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Eugene Water and Electric Board training center, 500 E. Fourth St. in Eugene.


The 4-H program was cut in 2010 after Lane County pulled back funding for the extension service and voters rejected a property tax measure to support the service and its programs.


The county's 4-H program served about 500 students in 2010 through clubs, camps and after-school activities.


Rebuilding the county program is now one of the biggest priorities of the Oregon 4-H Foundation, according to Scott Elmshaeuser, executive director of the foundation.


"We've been working behind-the-scenes for months to pull together the many pieces necessary to rebuild 4-H in Lane County," said John Punches, the regional administrator for the OSU Extension Service in southwest Oregon.


"We're confident that, if the people of Lane County would like this program back, we can work together to make it happen."


Among private donations toward the effort, Coastal Farm and Ranch has agreed to match every dollar raised up to $30,000 through Sept. 30 to help rebuild the program, according to an OSU press release.


--Mitch Lies



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