New Partnership Results in Expanded Duties for Extension Staff

A new and innovative partnership between county extension councils and Iowa State University Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) will expand duties for two local Extension staff members.
Following a restructuring by ISU Extension in June 2009, the county extension councils in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties joined together to become the Region 4 Regional Extension Council.  They became the first extension councils in the state of Iowa to form a memorandum of agreement to pool resources to hire staff to support their work.  
Two of their staff members, Teresa Wiemerslage and Nick McCann, specialize in local food system development and value-added agriculture.  With the new partnership with ANR Extension, about 30% of their time will extend beyond their multicounty region to provide broader benefits regionally or statewide.
Wiemerslage is a regional program coordinator who coordinates the work of the NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition.  She has knowledge and experience with food production, horticulture, farm to school and food safety.  She also represents ISU Extension as a core partner of the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative.  
McCann is a food system value chain coordinator who helps farmers develop new products, leads discussions and research on product aggregation and distribution, and identifies new partners and urban markets for those products in the Driftless Region. 
“Northeast Iowa is a leader in local foods systems.  This partnership allows the rest of the state to benefit from the knowledge of Teresa and Nick while providing resources back to their region,”  said John Lawrence, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension director.
ISU Extension is committed to helping Iowans solve today’s issues. By building partnerships and providing research-based learning opportunities, Extension works to improve quality of life in Iowa.  Learn more at www.extension.iastate.edu.

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