Columbiana County 4-H membership tumbles

LISBON — Enrollment in Columbiana County’s 4-H program has taken a dive.

Membership is down to about 660 youths from the 800 last year.

The Columbiana County commissioners haven’t funded the program for two years.

The county’s Cooperative Extension Service raised about $60,000 through a variety of activities to cover materials and have one paid agent this year, Julie Herron. The agency has a volunteer secretary.

Herron said that without more money, the program will end at the end of 2007.

One agent left in part because of the financial problems. The county should have two agents and a full-time secretary, based on its size and sizable agricultural community, Herron said.

As members grow up and leave 4-H, the lack of money has prevented outreach to recruit new members.

“The financial instability is taking its toll,” Herron said.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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