Parnell Named Director of Field Extension Education Laboratory

New director plans to build on the educational value of extension education laboratory

March 13, 2024, 8:30 am | Alan Parnell

AMES, Iowa – Alan Parnell is passionate about helping to educate farmers and the public about agricultural research.

The Oklahoma native spent more than 30 years as an ag educator for the Oklahoma State University Extension Service. In February, he accepted a position to lead Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Field Extension and Education Laboratory, located southwest of campus.

Alan Parnell.The FEEL facility is comprised of 29 acres and more than 400 demonstration plots, where research is conducted related to insect, weed, disease management, crop fertility, tillage, climate and more. The property also includes climate-controlled classrooms within walking distance of the demonstration plots.

“I feel at home with the position, because I will be working with research and education,” he said. “The FEEL facility provides information to producers and companies that can better peoples’ livelihoods or their production practices, and I enjoy being involved with the process.”

While in Oklahoma, Parnell served as the livestock superintendent at the Tulsa State Fair, and worked closely with people of all ages, including 4-H youth. One of the places they enjoyed vacationing was Iowa.

“Iowa is a beautiful place and it changes with the seasons,” he said. "If you enjoy agriculture, Iowa is especially beautiful to see.”

Mark Licht, associate professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said FEEL is in good hands under Parnell.

Alan Parnell.“Alan brings many years of experience to FEEL and we look forward to seeing the new ideas that experience can provide,” Licht said. “Alan brings experience to FEEL that can meet the needs of farmers and agronomists through a wide variety of educational opportunities.”

Parnell said he looks forward to working with the faculty and staff who use FEEL, and he plans to take full advantage of its outreach potential.

“I would like to make it more visible to the public and get more people and companies involved,” he said.

The FEEL facility is located approximately five miles west of Ames, at 1928 240th St. Boone.

Shareable photos: 1. Alan Parnell standing beside the sign at the Field Extension Education Laboratory. 2. Alan Parnell standing beside the field plot sign at the Field Extension Education Laboratory.

About the Authors: