After the state failed to issue MSU Extension and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, or MAES, their monthly payment, officials fear funding for these programs could be eliminated altogether.

The programs primarily are supported by state funding and were appropriated $64 million in the 2009-10 state higher education budget, which is awaiting Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s approval.

If the funding is eliminated, it could mean drastic cuts and possible extinction for the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Extension Director Tom Coon said.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources receives about 74 percent of its funding from MSU Extension and MAES. The programs also fund 82 extension offices and 15 research stations statewide, employing almost 3,000 workers.

“The work that we do generates new jobs by helping farms, helping businesses and helping young people become more successful through youth development,” Coon said. “There are parts of Michigan’s economy that aren’t growing. This is one that is. It’s actually generating new jobs.”

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