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Changes for Cattaraugus County 4-H Program in 2015

Recently, talks between Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) officials and representatives from the Cattaraugus County legislature have led to an agreement to dissolve the Cooperative Extension Association of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, a two-county entity.Each county will form its own separate Cooperative Extension Association later this year.

All involved believe that this is a positive move that will benefit all participants of the 4-H Youth Development program, which changes lives, helping youth to become confident, mature adults ready to succeed in today’s challenging world. Youth participating in 4-H do better in school, are more motivated to help others, feel safe to try new things, and develop lasting friendships. The 4-H Program is the youth development program of Cornell Cooperative Extension. 4-H’s connection to Cornell University and other land-grant institutions sets it apart from other youth-serving organizations. In Cattaraugus County, more than 300 4-H members and 60 volunteers are involved in 4-H. In part, this is why 4-H is so important to both CCE and to Cattaraugus County.

In 2015, until the CCE of Cattaraugus County Association is established as a separate association, through funding provided by the Cattaraugus County legislature, the 4-H program will continue to operate through CCE of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties through October 1, 2015. This organization will assist 4-H’ers and volunteers prepare for the county and state fairs, assist with club management, as well as offer other programming. Additionally, the Cornell Vegetable Program and Cornell Lake Erie Grape Program, sponsored by the local Extension, will continue to be funded by Cattaraugus County for 2015, and services provided, in part, in Cattaraugus County.

Through an agreement with the Cattaraugus County Legislature, the CCE Board of Directors will move toward dissolving the dual-county association and become CCE of Allegany County. In turn, Cattaraugus County officials are working with Cornell University to develop a separate CCE of Cattaraugus County Association.

As this moves forward, there are several steps that must occur which must be initiated by CCE of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. Meetings will be scheduled for late spring in order to let association members vote upon the dissolution of the dual-county association and the re-creation of the Allegany County Extension. This will be concurrent with the creation of a new CCE Association serving Cattaraugus County only.

For more information please contact your local Extension Office or the County Administrator’s Office in Little Valley.

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