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UW-Extension regionalization plans moving ahead



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.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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