La Crosse grouped into five-county region
Wisconsin’s plan to regionalize University of Wisconsin-Extension offices is moving ahead.
Instead of having each county run its own Extension bureau, counties are now grouped together with the La Crosse region including five counties, instead of all running their own farm agent and 4-H services.
Long-time Juneau County farm agent Craig Saxe is the Extension director for this area. He is hoping to let each county maintain a distinct identity under the reorganization plan.
“Every county has its own priorities, its own culture, its own needs,” Saxe said. “My job is to help reach the needs of each individual county, not morph them into one five-county area,
which I’m oversight of.”
Saxe is based in Richland Center, overseeing Extension operations in Richland, Crawford, Vernon, Monroe and La Crosse counties. He’s getting used to his new role and notes that La Crosse County will keep some sovereignty over its own Extension operation.
“Here in La Crosse County, the county felt it was important that there be a local presence of a department head,” Saxe said.
Right now, the county is preparing to fill vacant 4-H and agriculture agent posts after a two-year hiring freeze.
Wednesday was the application deadline, so new hirings for both jobs could take place soon.