SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Two agencies created to help South Dakota's farm and ranch industry could have fewer employees as the result of cuts in federal and state funding.

Board of Regents Executive Director Jack Warner has said that a 10 percent cut in state support for higher education starting July 1 will result in "downsizing" for the Cooperative Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Both are based at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

SDSU spokesman Mike Lockrem told the Argus Leader on Friday that "university officials are meeting individually with people whose employment will be affected by decreased funding."

He would not elaborate but said a public announcement is expected this week.

The Ag Experiment Station is losing $1 million of its $13 million budget, as well as an anticipated reduction of $250,000 in federal support.

Of 158 faculty members who teach at SDSU but also do agriculture research, "some of them will be out of work," Dean Barry Dunn of the College of Agriculture has said.

Dunn said the same was true in the Cooperative Extension Service, where there are 104 county extension agent slots. That agency is losing $820,000 in state support and an anticipated $320,000 in federal money.


Information from: Argus Leader,

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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