20 years of IECA

John Lawrence’s message from Oct. 9, 2017

We’ve been celebrating a lot of county 100-year anniversaries this year, and next year we’ll be celebrating even more. However, there’s another important occasion coming up in 2018: The Iowa Extension Council Association will be 20 years old. The association was incorporated in January 1998. Did you know?

  • IECA provides a way for our county extension councils to have a greater impact and voice on local and state issues. The association monitors legislative action and alerts IECA members to proposed legislation that might affect ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • IECA communicates directly with ISU Extension and Outreach leadership. The board members and executive director make sure we hear concerns, opinions and suggestions from councils throughout the state. They also keep county council members and staff up-to-date on ISU Extension and Outreach plans, policies and initiatives.
  • IECA helps facilitate extension council training, including webinars, extension council orientation and the 2018 Extension Council Conference. IECA members also meet to discuss best practices, common issues and solutions to common problems. This knowledge sharing helps councils adopt necessary changes more quickly.
  • Each spring IECA hosts a legislative day and 4-H public leadership experience at the Iowa Capitol. Council members serve as mentors for selected 4-H’ers, who have the opportunity to meet with legislators and learn about the legislative process.

I met with the IECA Board of Directors in late September. We from campus provided updates on 4-H, a survey of county leaders and progress on a couple of MOUs. The board asked thought-provoking questions and we had a good discussion. Thanks to the IECA structure, we can easily share information and gather feedback. Effective partnerships require communication and trust, and the IECA/ISU Extension and Outreach connection is key to the shared success of both counties and campus.

A couple more notes

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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