RIO GRANDE COUNTY – Over the past month, Rio Grande County Commissioners worked with Larry Brown, the SLV Zone Extension Manager, to hire a new Area Extension Program Coordinator for the San Luis Valley for Rio Grande County to help with the 4-H program. According to Brown, the SLV extension has been severely understaffed for several years and with the growth of the 4-H program, he came up with the new position.
At a council meeting on July 28, Brown pitched the idea to Rio Grande County commissioners and asked them to consider funding the new position.
Colorado State University, SLV Area Extension stands for the belief that anyone, at any stage in their life, who will continue to engage in the learning process, dramatically improves their chances of living a healthier, more happy, more prosperous and more caring. Everything we do promotes healthy youth and families, thriving businesses, farms and ranches, and strong, resilient and proud communities, ”said Brown.
Brown further explained, “4-H, Extension’s flagship youth development organization, already has a multitude of existing programs that provide young people with extraordinary opportunities to acquire life skills, life skills. leadership, socialization skills and community contribution. The 4-H model incorporates two fundamental beliefs: First, the belief in the power of young people to be partners in the development of their own potential and their own success; Second, the belief in mentoring young people as they develop by surrounding them with exceptional people, knowledgeable and well-prepared extension staff and community volunteers.
At the August 25 meeting, Brown returned to clarify that if the county chose to fund this position, it would be strictly a person serving the county’s youth. Brown recently got approval for another similar position in Mineral County and shared it with Rio Grande County Commissioners.
“If you fund this position, it will be strictly a Rio Grande County paraprofessional. All other counties have the same opportunity to hire a program coordinator, just as you and Mineral County have chosen at this point. I felt like you needed more explanation beyond what I provided to you on July 28, ”Brown said.
The position would be part-time and would be funded on a short-term basis as a pilot program. Brown said for Rio Grande County he estimated the position to be 20 to 40 hours per month and that he believed he would find someone with no problem.
“We only had one candidate for Mineral County, but we were blown away by her credentials. I think there are a number of people out there who want to give back and aren’t looking for anything full time, ”Brown said.
The commissioners accepted a 30-hour position for three years.