Every once in a while, organizations need to take a step back to reflect on their accomplishments and celebrate their successes. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension is planning to do just that with an Extension Week celebration throughout Iowa the week of March 21-25, 2011. Each of the governing nine-member Extension Councils in the six counties of ISU Extension's Region 6, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Ida, Pocahontas, and Sac Counties, has identified various ways to promote Extension's presence and role in their local communities and make the week special.
"It's one way we can say 'thank you' to the many volunteers, community leaders, organizations, agencies and other partners who support ISU Extension work in Iowa," said Gerald Miller, interim vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach. "As a land-grant university, Iowa State was founded on three big ideas: to open higher education to all, to teach practical classes and to share knowledge far beyond the campus borders. When it comes to providing education that makes a difference in Iowans' everyday lives, it starts with Extension."
ISU Extension recently celebrated its 108th birthday; "born" on February 18, 1903, when the first outreach class was held in Hull, Iowa (Sioux County). Extension's mission states "Iowa State University Extension builds partnerships and provides research-based learning opportunities to improve quality of life in Iowa." Extension's role is as needed today as it was 108 years ago. ISU Extension provides relevant programs that support healthy people, healthy environments, and healthy economies. Program areas include agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, families, community and economic development, and business and industry support through the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS).
Extension is part of an educational network supported by Iowa State University, local county governments, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Every county in Iowa has an elected Extension Council that decides how local tax dollars are spent to support and grow ISU Extension educational programs at the county level.
"County Extension Council members help keep ISU Extension relevant and engaged with Iowans," said Terry Maloy, president of the Iowa Association of County Extension Councils (IACEC). "We keep track of local issues so ISU Extension can address them with research-based information and education to help people make better decisions in their personal, community and professional lives."