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Thursday, June 15, 2017

PSU Extension Restructuring Plan Taking Effect

From left, Tony Siliano, Don Tanner and Melissa Sankey.
Penn State Extension’s many services to farmers, forest land owners, families and others are under scrutiny as the organization undergoes a major restructuring brought on by belt-tightening and retirement incentives. Among the veteran employees who are calling it quits at the end of June is Don Tanner, director of what has been a five-county district. 

This week, Tanner introduced Potter County Commissioners Doug Morley, Susan Kefover and Paul Heimel to two administrators who will be responsible for the new nine-county PSU Extension Area 2. Counties of Cameron, McKean, Elk, Clearfield, Jefferson, Clarion, Warren and Elk are also in the new region. Tony Siliano has come aboard in the new position of business operations manager and will be based in Warren. He has a strong resume in business management and entrepreneurship. Melissa Sankey, whose background in in agribusiness, has been named client relations manager for Area 2 and will be based in Clearfield.

In response to an inquiry from the commissioners, Tanner confirmed that the university does plan to hire a new water resources educator/assistant to succeed another recent retiree, Jim Clark, who was active with several Potter County organizations, including the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition, Water Quality Work Group and Natural Gas Resource Center. No decision has been made on another position that is currently unfilled — horticulture specialist.

Penn State Extension is housed at the Potter County Education Center on Water Street, sharing the offices there with the Potter County Education Council. While the majority of funding for Extension comes from the state, the Potter County Commissioners support the agency by providing the facility — complete with classrooms, a kitchen and videoconferencing technology — as well as an annual allotment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for publishing this. I have been wondering what was going on. We might need to fight for some of the extension programs. Going from a 5 county region to 9 counties with headquarters in Warren and Clearfield might not be a good thing. Let's see what they do with the horticulture program which has been dormant. That will be the first clue.