(ATLANTIC) ISU Extension and Outreach held a town hall meeting at the Cass County Extension Office this morning to gain input on how they can best serve the citizens of the State.
Terry Maloy, Executive Director of the Iowa Association of County Extension Councils, and Cathann Kress, Vice President of ISU Extension and Outreach, participated in the conversations. In her opening statements, Cathann Kress said Iowa was the first state to establish extension work. She said Extension and Outreach was founded on agriculture, which is their largest program, but now they have branched out into Families and Nutrition, Human Sciences, 4H Youth Development and Communities and Economic Development. Kress spoke about the overall mission they have in Extension and Outreach.
“We believe in education as a way to build for the future as well as to solve today’s challenges and we believe in education at the community level and those two things I think give you the best idea of what it is that we’re trying to do and the directions we’re trying to go for the future,” said Kress.
Kress said for the future they are focusing on four signature issues for Extension and Outreach, including Economic Development, Programming and Health and Wellbeing, Food and the Environment, and K-12 Youth Outreach.
Some of the comments and concerns from the public today included; an observed void in public policy, a need to focus more money and time on bringing the youth into the process and understanding of Extension and Outreach, concerns on the costs to be a 4H member, the need to educate youth on STEM jobs, the lack of financial resources, and the need to get Extension and Outreach’s name out there.
ISU Extension and Outreach will be holding three more town hall meetings across the state to gather more input on how they can better serve Iowans.