Time for a visit – or 20

John Lawrence’s message from June 11, 2018

“Forward planning has been one of the strong features of Iowa’s extension work.” Did you know? That’s a quote from R.K. Bliss. It’s from his extension history book published in 1960. It’s a quote that would be accurate at any time in our history, as well as our present day and as we look ahead to our future. In ISU Extension and Outreach we plan ahead, but we don’t do it alone. We need to hear from the people we serve.

As I mentioned during annual conference, I intend to visit every extension region in the state to learn from staff, extension council members and stakeholders. I’m starting next week with the four corners of the state:

  • June 18, Region 4, Ossian
  • June 20, Region 1, Sheldon
  • June 21, Region 17, Malvern
  • June 25, Region 20, Mt. Pleasant

During each visit, I will meet with staff, council members, and stakeholders, and briefly share news about some of our great work. The primary purpose of these visits is to listen to and learn from each group, and to gather input to inform our needs assessment and help us carry out our strategic plan. I know many people across the state and hope to strengthen those relationships, but just as important, I want to establish new connections. I appreciate the work you all do every day to engage with Iowans and this is a chance for me to learn more about your work, challenges and opportunities. I look forward to our discussions.

The regional directors are handling the invitations and working with Advancement and staff from the host counties to make sure our guests feel welcome and informed. I thank them for their efforts to make these visits meaningful for everyone involved.

We’ll work the bugs out of the process with these four regions, and then plan visits for the rest of the regions, working around county centennials, county fairs, and other events on my schedule. I will keep you informed as plans develop.

More notes

  • Make sure to review the June program update from the leadership team.
  • Team PrISUm is taking Iowa State’s solar car for a drive June 11-20 for the annual SunRun. The team will visit 17 counties to promote STEM education and get communities excited about sustainable transportation. Team PrISUm is working with 13 county extension offices to coordinate stops at 4-H STEM camps and other extension events during SunRun.

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

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