MSU Extension Service

Executive Summary

Reflected in FY 2005 Proposed Operating Budget

OUR MISSION The Montana State University Extension Service is an educational resource dedicated to improving the quality of people s lives by providing research-based knowledge to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of families, communities and agricultural enterprises.


With offices located in 54 counties and seven reservations, the state is our campus. We reach out to all of Montana s people through a network of county and reservation based offices. Faculty in these offices are supported by a cadre of specialists housed on the Montana State University-Bozeman campus, plus Forestry Specialists housed at the School of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana-Missoula campus.


Because Montana s communities are as diverse as it s landscape, the structure of our organization, with faculty living in the communities, helps to ensure that we are in touch and in tune with local issues and can adapt quickly to local needs and grass roots initiatives. Input from stakeholders creates a process that will assure that Extension continues to meet the most pressing educational needs and concerns of Montanans in FY 2005, related to agricultural sustainability and profitability, family issues, youth development issues, community/economic development, natural resources and environmental issues, and value added opportunities.


Extension Specialists utilize research from the Agricultural Experiment Stations, USDA, and other sources, and make it available to County Agents and the general public. Collaborations are established with agricultural commodity groups and organizations, forestry groups, those groups serving the needs of society, and our federal and county partners.


The Extension strategic plan is continually reviewed and updated to guide us with action plans for meeting our challenges. Working groups continue to work to further refine and update components as needed. Work has been done to review and strengthen the middle management structure of the organization. Renewed effort has resulted in the updating of the entire Civil Rights and Affirmative Action plan with specific updated implementation strategies. Other administrative management areas have been reviewed and strengthened, including the placement of Regional Department Heads at three locations across the state. These actions will help the organization strengthen its programming efforts.



The FY05 budget leaves us with a deficit of approximately $300,000. The deficit will be accommodated through 1.45 vacant specialist positions and from savings available due to the vacant portion of the seven fractional post-retirement contracts, which are currently staffed between .25 to .75 FTE.


Without additional base funding, action will be taken to re-evaluate and redistribute resources available for state and county Extension positions.