Delaware County Extension Identifies Local Needs
Iowa State University Extension Offices are embedded in all 99 Iowa counties, so the range of Extension services needed across the state is as varied as the people served by those offices. To better understand local needs, each county has undertaken an assessment process to get input from key stakeholders that can be used for long-range planning of programs and resources.
“We anticipate issues and get Iowans involved in processes and decisions that will improve their lives,” said Lori Scovel, Delaware County Program Director. “This survey gives us the feedback we need to provide the specific programs that will best help our county.”
Delaware County is part of Extension Region 11 which also includes Dubuque and Jackson counties. The survey was distributed in all three counties, so data was gathered about regional needs as well as those specific to each county. Questions were asked about what issues were the most important to that county, what work is already being done in each county, and who would be the key partners to make significant change regarding those issues.
For Delaware County, the five key issues identified in the survey were:
- Strengthening families
- Critical Youth Issue – Improve youth health and well-being
- Improving nutrition and health outcomes
- Economic development in communities
- Youth who are productive citizens and effective leaders
A community meeting was held at the Delaware County Extension Office on October 23rd to discuss these results and create strategies for how Delaware County ISU Extension could address these issues. After an insightful discussion, the group developed the following strategies that would improve conditions in Delaware County:
- Continue to support youth development through programs like 4-H
- Partner with community members to further address youth alcohol and substance abuse issues
- Promote positive environmental stewardship
- Work to strengthen local families with additional educational opportunities and programs
- Work within the community to promote good nutrition and healthy lifestyles for positive outcomes.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach already has programs that can meet many of these needs, so members of the Delaware County Extension Council can now prioritize resources and staff to be sure these strategies are carried out. Many potential partnerships and collaborations were identified during the needs assessment which will help make the programs meaningful and sustainable. Focusing on partnerships will also eliminate duplication of programs that already exist in the community.
“This information will help us act in catalytic ways and create synergy. We will bring different people to the table and increase the capacity for growth in our community,” said Scovel. “We want to create change in our region and help people and businesses grow.”
To learn more about Delaware County ISU Extension programs, call 563-927-4201 or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/delaware
Counties Main Menu
- County Home
- About Us
- 4-H & Youth
- Agriculture & Environment
- Business & Community
- Families & Healthy Living