Extension Council offers candidates opportunities to educate and serve

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The process to fill five seats on the Cherokee County Extension Council will begin shortly, says Jerry Chizek, Region 6 Extension Education Director.

The council, like the hundreds of other Extension councils across the country, is the grass roots governing body for the nation's Cooperative Extension System. Candidates for the council will appear on the general election ballot in November.

In Iowa, Extension programming is a cooperative effort involving local citizens, Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ISU Extension has 100 field offices, providing local access to Extension programs in all 99 counties.

"If you would like to help with Cherokee County's Extension program, we're beginning the nomination process now," says Chizek. The duties of a council member include hiring county staff, managing the county Extension budget and helping select programming.

The first step in the nomination process is the appointment of a four-member nominating committee. By law, the current council appoints two men and two women to the committee and it cannot include any current members of the council. The committee must be appointed by Aug. 2, 2010.

The committee is charged with nominating candidates for the council, and geographic distribution of the nominees is one factor that they consider. After nominees have been selected, each nominee must turn in to the county elections commissioner a petition signed by at least 25 qualified voters by 5 p.m. on Aug. 25, 2010. Individuals also may be placed on the ballot through a self-nomination process by turning in a petition signed by 25 qualified voters. Petitions are available from the county auditor and at the Cherokee County Extension Office.

The nine-member council has five vacancies for four-year terms this year. Council members whose terms expire at the end of 2010 are Donna Amundson, Larrabee; Dave Appleby, Cherokee; Guy Fishman, Aurelia; Jack Shea, Marcus; and Brenda Werthman, Marcus. All council members are eligible for re-election.

Newly-elected council members will take office in January 2011. Carry-over council members whose terms expire at the end of 2012 are Tom Bindner, Marcus; Chuck Clark, Cherokee; David Whited, Marcus; and Lynn Winterhof, Aurelia.

The Cooperative Extension Service provides informal educational opportunities on a variety of topics to the people of Iowa. For more information on becoming a council member, contact the Cherokee County Extension Office at (712) 225-6196 or email xcherokee@iastate.edu.

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