Non-profit says Josephine County OSU Extension decision ‘unconstitutional’

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – A national organization is weighing in on Josephine County Commissioner’s decision to cut funding to the 4-H program in the county.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is a national non-profit whose goal is to protect the separation of church and state.

Earlier this month, a lawyer from the organization sent a letter to Josephine County commissioners after they de-funded Oregon State University’s Extension Program.

It was all because of a dispute around a club t-shirt.

During the same meeting, Commissioner Baertschiger commented on how it saddened him to see “God taken out of 4-H.”

“it just saddens me you know you talk about you’re taking God out of 4-h,” Baertschiger said.  “It still says ‘God we trust’ on every single dollar bill, it’s in our pledge of allegiance and it’s just politics.”

According to the letter sent to all three commissioners, the choice to defund the OSU Extension Program was due to a “desire to promote Christian faith.”

The organization asked the board to correct what it sees as a constitutional violation.

After deciding to cut the funding to OSU extension, OSU and commissioners agreed to meet quarterly to try and address issues with the programs, including getting more 4-H involvement.

We reached out to all three county commissioners today, but haven’t heard back.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Skip to content