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It Really Is a Wonderful Life

December 19th, 2013

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence Oddbody, Angel 2nd Class

Like many of your families, this time of year one of my family’s traditions is to fill the chipped blue popcorn bowl, head to the couch, and watch classic holiday movies. Of course a favorite is the classic of all holiday classics, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” You know the story: Clarence the guardian angel shows George Bailey how different his community would be if he had never been born. George learns that his relationships with the people of Bedford Falls are what really matter. Although his life didn’t turn out the way he planned, he realizes he has a wonderful life because of those relationships, and he has touched, and helped, many people. He has lived a life worth living.

Sometimes Extension and Outreach work doesn’t turn out the way we plan, either. But it’s our relationships – among our staff and with our clients and partners – that make what we do worthwhile. That’s why we’re focused on feeding people, keeping them healthy, helping their communities to prosper and thrive, and turning the world over to the next generation better than we found it. I thank each of you for everything you do to carry out the land-grant mission and serve the people of Iowa. Your efforts – small and large – touch and help many people. Especially at this time of year, may all of us remember that despite our challenges, it really is a wonderful life making a difference for Iowans. See you there.

– Cathann


  1. Robin Brekke
    | #1

    I really like how this message ties our work into the importance of the people that do it. Our people are our greatest asset.

  2. Kim Greder
    | #2

    I think this recent blog “hit the mark” of why many of us work for, and stay in, Extension.

    Relationships – among staff, those we serve, and partners – make ISU a great place to work, live and play:)

  3. Susan Erickson
    | #3

    It means a lot to hear “thank you” from our leaders. I appreciate knowing that our efforts are noticed.

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