“When I was younger, Dr. C. Fred Foreman was the diary science department head and spent lots of time judging shows and working with dairymen throughout the state,” Hall said. “He always knew my name and talked to me about my animals and, of course, about going to Iowa State. Dr. William Wunder (former professor of diary science) and he both encouraged me to consider extension work over the years. Twenty five years later, I joined ISU Extension and Outreach as the education director in Chickasaw County.”
How long have you worked for ISU Extension and Outreach?
I was the ISU Extension and Outreach Chickasaw County Education Director from 2005-09 and returned as a dairy specialist in 2017.
What do you do for ISU Extension and Outreach?
I am the dairy field specialist covering 23 counties in northwest Iowa. I work with dairymen, processors and industry folks to help identify solutions to issues effecting their businesses. I also help youth with dairy projects or interest in dairy education like quiz bowl or judging.
What is the best part of working for ISU Extension and Outreach?
I am addicted to the look on the face and the twinkle in the eye when a person understands the solution to their problem. That tells me I have made a difference in their world. When you go back months later, they will tell you the impact of the lesson and the rush hits me all over again – there’s nothing like it!
Do you have any big upcoming projects or events?
- The first northwest Iowa Corn Silage Clinic is set for August 28.
- The I-29 Moo University has its Best Management Practices Tour coming up on August 3 that will focus on cow care and handling.
With your time with Extension, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in this position?
This summer I’m working with Jan Flora, professor emeritus in sociology at Iowa State, and Lori Hayungs, Human Sciences field specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, to complete a survey to assess the real needs of livestock operators and immigrant employees. If we know what each needs and wants, then we can create programming that helps everyone.
Name one fun thing about yourself that not many people know.
Before working in extension, I was a dairy photographer and fitter. During that time I had 16 magazine cover photos, including Holstein World, Brown Swiss Bulletin, Jersey Journal, Mid-State Holstein News and publications in Japan and the United Kingdom.
What do you do in your free time?
Over the years we have owned homes that fell into the “fixer upper” class. When we moved back to Iowa I vowed to do no more fixing. Now I still have a lot of “honey-dos” and yard work every week, but I make some time to go fishing and to dairy shows, especially if my sons can come along.
How do you create a #StrongIowa?
Be there everyday. Be in the moment. Make sure you have to clean the muck off your boots because you’ve been in the barnyard.