AMES, Iowa – Two Iowans have been selected to represent Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in “Your Beautiful Adventure,” the university’s exhibit in the Varied Industries Building at the 2016 Iowa State Fair, Aug. 11-21. Mary Giese and Evan Fritz are among 20 Iowans representing the colleges and units of Iowa State who will have their portraits painted during the fair.
Marshall County Extension Council member Mary Giese exemplifies the 900 Iowans elected to county councils throughout the state who work together with ISU Extension and Outreach.
Evan Fritz, a 2016 Iowa State University graduate, Rising Star intern and former 4-H’er, represents how ISU Extension and Outreach builds skills in young people throughout the state.
Mary Giese represents extension councils
Giese is one of 900 Iowans elected to county extension councils throughout the state. Their shared purpose: to provide education and build partnerships designed to solve today’s problems and prepare for the future.
Giese first was elected to the Marshall County Extension Council in 2010. She’s now in her second term, which continues through 2018.
“I was active in 4-H as a young person and later served as a club leader when our sons were in 4-H. My father, George Boehnke, was an extension area director for many years, and I thought being on the council would be a good way to honor my father and to continue his legacy of support for quality ISU Extension and Outreach programs and services,” she said.
Giese also represents council members from Boone, Story, Marshall and Hardin counties on the board of the Iowa Extension Council Association, which aids networking among extension councils, Iowa State and government leaders to promote and strengthen all local and statewide ISU Extension and Outreach programs. She served as board president this past year.
ISU Extension and Outreach serves as a 99-county campus with 100 county extension districts – Pottawattamie County has two.
“We are fortunate that the infrastructure to create a strong Iowa – ISU Extension and Outreach’s overarching goal – is already in place,” Giese said.
Elected county extension councils work in partnership with local citizens, Iowa State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to carry the university’s land-grant mission beyond the campus in Ames. ISU Extension and Outreach provides access to research-based programs in human sciences, agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, and community and economic development. Extension council members must be good stewards of taxpayer dollars as they invest in educational programs. Their understanding of local issues helps them decide which educational opportunities to make available to people in their county. Extension councils also provide mentoring and leadership for county paid extension staff.
“Our county extension councils are an important link in connecting Iowans with Iowa State research and resources. When we work together, it becomes more likely we can find meaningful and effective solutions to whatever challenges we face, and that we can create the future we all wish to see,” Giese said.
Evan Fritz represents outreach to young people
A kinesiology and health major, Fritz graduated from the ISU College of Human Sciences in May 2016. He was a Rising Star intern in summer 2014, the first year of the ISU Extension and Outreach program that places Iowa State students in Iowa communities, working with extension professionals to help Iowans better understand their local food system and the benefits of consuming locally grown food. They also are exposed to careers with ISU Extension and Outreach and learn about the land-grant university system. ISU Extension and Outreach offers the program in partnership with the College of Human Sciences and the College of Design.
“Evan’s individual project focused on identifying barriers producers face when they try to sell their product to institutions. He exhibited great leadership skills, always dependable and upbeat,” said Cheryl Heronemus, ISU Extension and Outreach regional director who supervised his internship.
During his internship, Fritz worked to gain insight on grocery store practices, educate producers, identify best practices, and examine issues faced by producers and grocery stores. He conducted producer site visits and in-person surveys at grocery stores, and analyzed past research.
“He also has volunteered his time on several occasions to help recruit, orient and train new Rising Star volunteers,” Heronemus said.
As a child and teen, Fritz, from Northwood, Iowa, was involved in the 4-H Youth Development program of ISU Extension and Outreach. During his nine years as a 4-H member, Fritz participated in citizenship, communication, home improvement, leadership, photography, poultry, sheep and woodworking project areas. He served as reporter, secretary and treasurer of his 4-H club. He also served on his county youth committee and his county and area 4-H councils, as well as the Iowa 4-H Youth Council. In addition, he took part in the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and National 4-H Congress. A Worth County 4-H’er, he received a state 4-H leadership project award and C. J. Gauger 4-H Scholarship in 2012.
Fritz received the Iowa 4-H Speaker of the Year award in 2013. He also has served as a Collegiate 4-H State Council Officer, an Iowa 4-H Foundation Trustee and National 4-H Facilitator.