John Lawrence’s message from Feb. 4, 2019
The university doesn’t close very often, but it did last week due to bone-chilling cold. But extension professionals carry on. Campus folks relocated from their university offices to their kitchen tables or wherever their home offices might be. As the deep freeze spread throughout the state, staff and councils made their best decisions, based on local conditions, about whether to close offices or reschedule events. I thank you all for putting safety ahead of everything else under these extreme weather conditions.
I’d also like to thank our county staff and councils for preparing and sharing their 2018 county stakeholder reports. Not only are these reports useful to share with Iowans in each county, they also are a great way for us all to share program ideas across regions and throughout the state. Did you know?
- With identity theft on the rise, in 2018, Lyon County educated more than 35 local residents on ways to protect themselves and their families.
- Allamakee County’s Women in Ag Tour reached women who owned or worked in a farm business or agribusiness, as well as women who owned or worked in non-ag businesses. Participants appreciated the opportunity to network with other women, and gain a broader understanding of the diversity of agriculture in the county.
- Since the 1970s, Fremont County 4-H members have participated in Citizenship Washington Focus. This year, 21 high school students and four adult volunteers spent a week in the nation’s capital, immersed in government, history and civic engagement.
- Lee County Intern Connect engaged 20 interns in local networking and building relationships. Extension and Outreach partnered with Lee County Economic Development Group, Fort Madison Partners and Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce to create a positive experience and recruit interns back to the area after they graduate.
- Stakeholder reports from the four corners of Iowa and throughout the state are available on the County Services website.
During the listening sessions last summer and fall, I often heard from staff and councils that we need to better tell our ISU Extension and Outreach story. These stakeholder reports are an important step to do just that. A stakeholder report is not an end product; it’s the beginning of the extension stories we can share. We share our stories with stakeholders because they have a stake in our impact and outcomes. We share our stories with the public to build their awareness of the education and information we can provide. We share our stories with taxpayers and the elected officials who allocate precious public resources so they understand their return on investment in ISU Extension and Outreach. We strive to serve all Iowans. A key to our success is making sure people know how we are working to build a strong Iowa.
- Another part of our story is the February program update from the leadership team. It offers a glimpse of what’s going on in our program areas.
- You still can register for Annual Conference, set for Feb. 28. I look forward to seeing you there and networking with colleagues from across the state. Room blocks are being held at three Ames hotels; reserve your room by Feb. 7 to get the conference rate.
- The Internal Communications Task Force met Jan. 31 to generate recommendations as guided by the data they’ve gathered. For an update, read the executive summary on Cybox.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach