AMES, Iowa – The nine counties in Iowa State University Extension’s Region 18 are fortunate that talented youth and young adults call the region home, wherever they may roam. However, according to director Matt Deppe, “One of our issues is maintaining and sustaining the strong leadership those young adults offer when they come back to the community.”
R18 from Iowa State University Extension on Vimeo.
Region 18 includes Adair, Adams, Cass, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor and Union counties. Deppe and the region’s nine elected county extension councils know that young people will leave the region for college and university opportunities. Their goal is to make sure that ISU Extension’s educational programs have encouraged community service and nurtured strong leadership, citizenship and communication skills in the region’s young people so that “they’ll come back and they’ll plug back in to that community as strong leaders,” Deppe said.
Deppe 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. In Region 18, Deppe works directly with each county’s nine 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.
“Instead of nine or 18 or 36 council members, I have 81 throughout the nine counties. We’ve really worked on putting together communication opportunities, not only for staff to meet one another … but to make sure we can move forward, utilizing the strengths of each staff member,” Deppe said. “I see county council persons interacting more across county lines.”
To learn more about ISU Extension programs, contact Deppe at 641-782-8426 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the ISU Extension website, www.extension.iastate.edu.
Natasha Forsythe, Extension Communications and External Relations, 515-494-9225, email@example.com