FAIRFIELD — Solano County will try a new organizational model for University of California Cooperative Extension, a service that has long provided local programs ranging from 4-H to Master Gardener.
The University of California asked to move from a county-by-county approach to a regional approach. It is creating a partnership involving Solano, Yolo and Sacramento counties.
Solano County supervisors on Tuesday approved the move by a 4-0 vote. Supervisors Erin Hannigan, Linda Seifert, Skip Thomson and John Vasquez voted “yes.” Supervisor Jim Spering was absent.
The new model will allow the University of California Cooperative Extension to expand services in the three counties, a county report said. An orchard systems adviser and small farms adviser are to be added this year. Expansion within two to three years could bring nutrition education, small farm and viticulture programs to the county, it said.
Solano County will lay off two county employees of the local cooperative extension at their request. In July, they will become employees of the University of California for the regional cooperative. Morgan Doran, director of Solano County cooperative extension staff, is to become director of the new regional cooperative.
The headquarters of the regional cooperative is to be in Woodland in Yolo County, with a satellite office in Solano County.
Solano County is to pay up to $227,500 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, as well as an in-kind contribution of $30,000 by providing a facility, telephones, custodial service and groundskeeping services.
By comparison, the 2013-14 Solano County budget called for spending $220,054 on the cooperative extension.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.