The University of Minnesota Extension Service will be closing its regional offices in Hutchinson and Fergus Falls at the end of the year. An 11-and-a-half percent reduction in state funding in the last biennium is one of the reasons for the closings. Extension Regional Director Bob Byrnes says the goal is to keep operating and administration costs as low as possible that fund the educator and staff positions. Byrnes says another reason for the closings is a desire to have Extension offices housed in U of M facilities. The Hutchinson office is in rented space in Citizen’s Banks’ south building. The six educators will remain on the job and be based out of other offices. Programming is not expected to be cut. The county Extension Office at the McLeod County Fairgrounds will not be affected by the change.