Wisconsin Extension educators can count on-farm teaching hours

Legislation that lets University of Wisconsin-Extension educators count their time on the farm as official teaching time has been signed into law. 

Governor Tony Evers signed the bill Friday, which allows extension educators to count their time teaching farmers on-site towards their official teaching time on the university’s accountability dashboard. 

Extension educator Ken Schroeder from Portage County tells Brownfield he’s not sure yet how the new law will impact him, but he’ll still be out working with farmers. “It’s not going to change how we do our work. It may potentially change what we need to report in the system but at the moment, we haven’t received any information on how to approach that.”

The old law required educators in the UW system to keep track of their teaching hours but did not allow teaching hours outside of the traditional college setting meaning educators helping farmers in the field got no credit for their work.

The new law was supported by many agricultural organizations in the state and was also part of the focus of last week’s Ag Day at the Capitol organized by Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

Evers says he was glad to sign the bill so Extension agents can continue doing their good work and be recognized for going above and beyond for farmers and the state.

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