AMES, Iowa – Good things are going on in Iowa State University Extension’s Region 15 and people are pleased with the early success, according to director Gene Mohling. Region 15 includes Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk and Washington counties.
“We have a number of things going on — new growth, new hires, new initiatives in all the counties,” Mohling said. “We have a number of grants … we have applied for a BASICS grant in Keokuk County to teach elementary youth about nutrition and making healthy choices. We received about $30,000 in grants this spring for afterschool and in-school nutrition education in the Iowa City school district.”
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The Johnson County Extension Council is planning to build a 12,000-square-foot facility on a lot adjacent to the Johnson County 4-H Fairgrounds, Mohling continued. The council applied for annexation into Iowa City to receive city services and utilities and is looking forward to breaking ground this fall. The new facility will enable Johnson County Extension to develop new partners and expand its programs and services.
Additional successes included the development of the Nonprofit Management Academy in Johnson County, hiring a full-time county program coordinator to serve Iowa and Keokuk counties, and hiring a part-time program assistant to provide nutrition education in schools, afterschool programs and summer camps in Washington County. In addition, 20 women from Washington and Keokuk counties have completed Annie’s Project, an educational program that strengthens women’s roles in modern farm enterprises. In May, Keokuk County will begin Operation ReLeaf, a residential tree distribution program, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Alliant Energy and the Keokuk County Conservation Board.
Mohling is one of 20 regional extension education directors. The positions were created a year ago as part of ISU Extension’s restructuring plan to facilitate an issue-based approach to delivering ISU Extension programming and resources. Mohling works directly with county extension council members to meet their legal obligations as an elected body. Together they are identifying new ways to work across county borders, provide educational programming that addresses significant issues and evaluate the results of multi-county and regional efforts.
Mohling is looking forward to each county finding its role within the region and for Region 15 to “begin to grow even more.”
To learn more about ISU Extension programs, contact Mohling at 319-337-2145 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the ISU Extension website, www.extension.iastate.edu.