AMES, Iowa – The four counties in Iowa State University Extension’s Region 16 are finding their way as a region, according to director Bob Owen. Region 16 includes Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine and Scott counties.
“The four counties in Region 16 are very diverse, in population as well as in the kinds of programming that they have been doing," Owen said. What the future holds really is up to the extension councils — to give direction and leadership, focusing on programs and how to get the message of what ISU Extension does in the region out to the local people.
R16 from Iowa State University Extension on Vimeo.
Owen 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. Owen 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.
“In Region 16, extension councils have stepped forward to put in some additional money to really expand that ability of ISU Extension to reach out, especially to youth audiences,” Owen noted. For example, the Muscatine County Extension Council provides half the salary for a youth program specialist, as does the Clinton County Extension Council.
Muscatine and Clinton counties also have hired county program coordinators, bringing new leadership into their local extension programs, Owen said. Scott County continues to focus local resources on youth and family programs, as well as consumer horticulture.
Muscatine County’s program coordinator, Becky Each, formerly was a middle school counselor, Owen said. “She is going to be able to push us in directions we haven’t gone.”
Mark Schroeder is Clinton County program coordinator, Owen continued. Schroeder has an extensive economic development background, specifically with Clinton Community College.
“I look for his influence into how we can be a more prominent player in economic development in the city of Clinton,” Owen said.
To learn more about ISU Extension programs, contact Owen at 563-263-5701 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the ISU Extension website, www.extension.iastate.edu.