ISU Extension and Outreach Honors ‘Friends of Extension’

Five individuals and families were honored as 2012 Friends of Extension by the Iowa Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national honorary extension fraternity. Cathann Kress, vice president for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, congratulated the recipients as they received their awards Tuesday, Oct. 23, during the organization’s annual conference in Ames. Presenting the awards was Gary Hall, ESP president and ISU Extension and Outreach regional director.
“We’re pleased to honor these Iowans and families that have wholeheartedly supported Iowa State University Extension over the years,” said Hall.
Tom and Julie Eich, Carroll, joined the Carroll County extension family in August 2003 when they wanted to revive the Arcadia Energetics 4-H Club. Both have served on the county youth committee where their efforts have included establishing scholarships for camps and conferences. Tom started a share-a-lamb program for first year sheep exhibitors, providing a co-op ownership opportunity for new members using some of his own lambs to help members get started with sheep projects. Julie has volunteered in the county office and served as an office temp. Through the family business, Arcadia Limestone, Tom and Julie have partnered with and supported the 4-H program more than once through contributions and volunteer time.
[PHOTO] L-R, Cathann Kress, Julie Eich, Tom Eich and Gary Hall

Carol Gilbert, Buckeye, has been instrumental in integrating financial literacy with small business and community economic development. She led the formation of the Hardin County Financial Literacy Project, is committed to the value of extension education and programs such as Money Talk, financial coaching, and retirement education. She has made these programs available and affordable across Hardin County. Carol provided technical assistance to the community of Alden which led to funding for a major poverty-fighting project. She has worked collaboratively with Community Action and extension to build a VITA volunteer base in the county. Carol served on ISU Extension and Outreach’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee.
[PHOTO] L-R, Cathann Kress, Carol Gilbert, Charlie Gilbert and Gary Hall

Bob Haack, Whiting, has served on the Monona County Extension Council for 19 years and as chairman since 1998. He is an advocate for ISU Extension and Outreach and the county 4-H program and was instrumental in passing the Monona County Extension referendum in 2004. In 2008, he provided council leadership in purchasing the building they had rented for 18 years and volunteered many hours in the building remodeling. Bob has been an active member of his community and taught math at the Whiting High School for 40 years. He is married with two married daughters.

 [PHOTO] L-R, Cathann Kress, Bob Haack and Gary Hall

Pat Shanahan, honored posthumously, donated more than 2,500 hours of volunteer service to ISU Extension and Outreach since completing the Master Gardener class in 1999, which is the most of any Woodbury County Master Gardener. Pat loved to share his horticulture knowledge and experience with Master Gardeners and others in the tri-state area including assisting with the coordination of the Master Gardener program and teaching classes. He was instrumental in piloting the Master Conservationist program in Woodbury County and played an integral part in helping pass the Woodbury County Extension referendum. Pat lost his battle with cancer on April 1, 2012, and leaves behind his wife Mimi, son Christopher, daughter Laura, her husband, Jerod, and seven grandchildren. Accepting the award were Pat’s wife Mimi, daughter Laura, sister-in-law Nancy and family friend Megan.
[PHOTO] L-R, Cathann Kress, Mimi Shanahan, daughter Laura and Gary Hall

Lynn and Jeri Wenell family, Pocahontas, have been involved with and supported ISU Extension and Outreach in many extension meetings, activities and events. Lynn has served four years as a Pocahontas County extension council member and Jeri is an eight year 4-H leader. Lynn and Jeri have served as chaperones for State 4-H Conference and hosted four International 4-H students. Their 3 sons, Lewis, Reuben and Brice, have served on the Pocahontas County 4-H Youth Council and the State 4-H Council. They also volunteered to help at the 4-H Livestock Jamboree and at the Iowa State Fair in the 4-H livestock barns and exhibit building. As the number of youth decline in Pocahontas County, Lynn and Jeri strongly encourage young people to get involved in the 4-H program.
[PHOTO] L-R, Cathann Kress, Jeri Wenell, Lynn Wenell and Gary Hall


About the Authors

Gary Hall

Regional Director



Willy Klein

ISU Extension and Outreach


Carol Peterson

Winnebago County Extension




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