- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Last weekend, the director of UC Cooperative Extension in Ventura County, Rose Hayden-Smith, wrote a note on her Facebook page about the possibility raised by Gov. Schwarzenegger of selling off state-owned assets to ease the budget crunch. The Ventura County Fairgounds is on Schwarzenegger's short list of properties to go on the block.
Positive feedback prompted Hayden-Smith to write out her objections to the idea and post them in her ANR blog. The Huffington Post then picked up the article, titled "Of California, Fairgrounds and Things I Can't Afford to Buy Given the Current Budget Situation." (I have to confess I skimmed the article several times to find out what Hayden-Smith can't afford to buy: A new outfit? Produce from out of state? It then dawned on me she was using the idiomatic expression for "not believing, agreeing or supporting it.")
Hayden-Smith said the fairgrounds help preserve the state's agricultural heritage and assure its vitality for future generations.
"We (must) continue to educate the public about the importance of agriculture, no matter how deep the budget cuts go. If anything, we (should) do more," Hayden-Smith wrote. "Agricultural education is our seedbank; it is where we should be sowing more now, to reap future benefits. Not just in California, but nationally."