With the exception of a couple of other state agencies, the Cooperative Extension Network is all but invisible in the eyes of the federal government.
Its affiliates have received more than $11 billion in federal grants and contracts over the last decade, according to the Cooperative Improvement Act of 2012.
It is a network of roughly 3,400 counties and thousands of cooperatives in all 50 states, including the one at the center of this week’s protest.
The networks operate the nation’s largest network of cooperators, with roughly 6.6 million members.
The Cooperative Extension network was created by Congress in 1972 to facilitate cooperation between state agencies.
This year’s protests against the new federal government are just the latest of several planned across the country in response to the federal budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration.
On Monday, the National Nurses United for Patient Protection (NNU) in Oregon announced that it would protest the new Trump budget, calling it a “historic betrayal of the health care community.”
The protests come at a time when the Trump budget proposal includes a $4.4 trillion cut to the National Institutes of Health and $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration.
The National Nursed Workers Union, an important ally of the cooperative community, has also called for the protests to be held in support of the proposed cuts to the NNU and other cooperatives.