Nieland Named Coordinator with Workforce Development Program

Extension employee joins the AgriProspects Workforce Development Network

May 21, 2024, 2:32 pm | Dan Nieland

AMES, Iowa -- Dan Nieland has been selected as an entrepreneurship and self-employment coordinator with the AgriProspects Workforce Development Network.

Nieland is a small business education specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, a position he has held since August 2022.

AgriProspects is a U.S. Department of Agriculture supported program, which aims to foster regional cooperation, identify workforce ecosystem gaps and offer collaborative, adaptive solutions to local and regional employment challenges.

Dan Nieland.The project focuses on increasing awareness and access to extension resources that enhance skill levels, facilitate credential attainment and prepare participants for successful entry or re-entry into the workforce.

“Our focus is on adult workforce development and improving access to extension resources related to workforce development and private-public partnerships,” said Nieland, who is also part of the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program at Iowa State. “We will be working collaboratively to develop a more comprehensive offering of what all of our partners are already doing, and how we can come together to fill existing gaps.”

Thirteen individuals from across Cooperative Extension were selected through a competitive application to serve as Regional Network Coordinators and Region Content Coordinators.

These individuals represent all six regions of Cooperative Extension including representation from 1862, 1890 and 1994 Land Grants and specific subject matter needs.

The project is a collaboration between the Extension Foundation and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Economic and Workforce Development Program Action Team, supported through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Nieland serves as the National Coordinator – Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment, and will be working with a team of regional coordinators to:

  • Create a dynamic clearinghouse to organize and share extension’s adult workforce development offerings for the agricultural sector.
  • Develop and support a sustainable network of extension educators and industry partners to strengthen the alignment of extension’s agricultural offerings with real-time industry needs.
  • Connect employers, workforce intermediaries and the agricultural workforce to extension’s skill development programs that cultivate upskilling, credentialing and participant readiness to successfully join or rejoin the ag workforce.
  • Support the creation, evolution, expansion and integration of extension programs locally, regionally and nationally through mini-grant funding.

Learn more online about AgriProspects Workforce Development Network – Extension Foundation.

Dan Nieland can be reached at or 515-294-0648.


About the Authors: