A WEEKLY PROFILE OF A LOCAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
The Cornell Cooperative Extension-Monroe County functions as a three-way partnership between the county, state and federal governments. It is one of 57 county associations (and the six boroughs of New York City) working through New York State’s federally designated land-grant university, Cornell University. Essentially the Cooperative Extension is an informal educational organization that responds quickly with scientific solutions to the critical information needs of residents, businesses and local government.
The history of the Cooperative Extension in Monroe County dates back to the turn of the century. It was a time that many considered to be an educational crisis as the majority of children were expected to attend school only through their eighth year. Consequently these young people came out of school without the skills needed to be successful and productive as farmers or other workers, or as citizens.
With recognition of these problems came the realization that training was necessary. Through the joint efforts of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, the Monroe County Board of Supervisors (Legislature) and the Monroe County Pomona Grange, the first Farm Bureau was formed in Monroe County in 1913, followed by the Home Bureau in 1917. Together they were the parent organizations of today’s Cooperative Extension Association in Monroe County, known as the Monroe County Extension Association aka/dba Cornell Cooperative Extension-Monroe County.
In its more than 80-year history the Cooperative Extension in Monroe County has evolved from concentrating primarily on the needs of rural farmers and their families, to those from all walks of life who can benefit from its services.
Last year 95,771 people were served through the Cornell Cooperative Extension-Monroe County through a variety of programs, including:
–A Gardening Helpline and Consumer Helpline are available providing safe, effective solutions to a variety of gardening and consumer problems.
–A Diagnostic Lab tests the pH of soil, diagnoses plant disease and pest problems, and provides environmentally sound solutions, for a small fee.
–Fee-based horticultural consultations to assist with remediation or design solutions.
–State-mandated child sexual-abuse prevention training through the Adam Walsh Center/New York for professionals working with children.
–4-H projects, clubs and camp providing activities for children.
–Materials and programs to help parents and professionals learn about child development and parenting skills.
Association director William “Bo” Yerxa II declares that some of these programs are totally self-sufficient, receiving little or no public funding. Cornell Cooperative Extension-Monroe County has been among the more progressive in obtaining funding from other sources, outside of the county. As a result, it is the second-lowest in per-capita funding compared with other Cooperative Extensions throughout the state.
Financial Record Year ended Dec. 31, 1994
County appropriation $536,675 45.15
Miscellaneous grants 150,235 12.64
Federal & state appropriation 127,113 10.70
Cornell grants 106,972 9.00
Rent 97,862 8.23
Program participation 66,747 5.62
Other 102,966 8.66
Total revenue $1,188,570 100
Salaries $707,297 60.92
Contract services 113,118 9.74
Contract support 63,212 5.45
Facilities 34,578 2.98
Office supplies 33,131 2.85
Depreciation 25,936 2.24
Other 183,675 15.82
Total expenses $1,160,947 100
Robert Lebman, president; executive director, Discovery Huther-Doyle
Peter Bush, vice president; attorney and consultant
Jim Burch, treasurer; manager, Frank & Hale Burch Farms Inc.
Cathy Almekinder, homemaker
Hays Bell, vice president of corporate health, safety and environment,
Eastman Kodak Co.
Kurt Buckman, Comstock Michigan Fruit
Richard Elliott, principal public health engineer, Monroe County Health Department
William Erb, owner, Erb’s Income Tax Service
Jo Mae Falls, child care provider, catering service owner
William Hart, retired chemist, Eastman Kodak Co.
Kathleen Klepfer, product specialist, Monsanto Agricultural Co.
John Lamb, county executive representative; county/regional planner, Monroe
County Department of Planning and Development
Gloria Long, labor service representative, New York State Department of Labor
Ann Mathews, Cornell Extension representative
Ronald Pearsall, executive director, American Lung Association-Finger Lakes Region
Dale Rath, Monroe County legislator
Researched and written by Julie K. Welch