“Operating largely run on grant money to keep us going,” is how County Extension Agent Dr. Holly Gatzke phrased her report to the Board of County Commissioners last week. “But things have been ticking pretty normal,” she said. “The grants tend to be more focused statewide in the agriculture side so that means I tap into those statewide programs regularly and we try to do workshops and distribute through that side of things.”
4-H is running well she said. “We have 29 leaders and already 167 kids signed up for the year. That is probably our strength. With the cutbacks that happened a couple of years ago, we pulled back from having very much time in the schools, but we would like to reinstate that to some degree.” 4-H coordinator Hayley Gloeckner is only working 60-percent of the time anymore with the program, “but we still have the connection,” Gatzke said. “It all comes down to having leaders and their having the drive and the passion to make a difference in those kids’ lives creating them to be community leaders like 4-H does.”
Funds have increased for the 2015 Workforce program in Lincoln County, Gatzke noted. “
We’ll be serving 25 adults and 31 youth. We received an extra $40,000 more this year. Last year, we managed to work with 25 youth and four achieved their high school diploma in our program. Four of them enrolled into post secondary education and 10 received job experience programs, and nine of those were actually hired. On the adult side, 13 received their diploma or GED, and that’s a big demand in our office. We want to try to get them that basic education first.”
She said as she also works with Lincoln Communities Action Team (LCAT), they have launched a new website that is more user friendly, “and we’re hoping when people hit that, they will know what they can do and where they can go in Lincoln County.”
Another program Gatzke has done before and wants to continue is working with local growers and selected chefs in Las Vegas and Reno, and providing them with fresh local produce.