AMES, Iowa – Jennifer Vit has been hired as executive director for the Iowa Extension Council Association. She begins the position July 1 and will be located in Duncombe.
Vit is assuming the IECA position formerly held by Terry Maloy, who retired in April after serving as executive director since 2012.
"We are excited to begin working with Jennifer as we advocate for county extension councils throughout the state. Together we help councils have a greater impact on issues and programs being addressed by state and local governments," said Michael Ryan, president of the IECA Board of Directors.
“Jennifer brings extension experience from three land-grant universities to her new position. She is a strong leader, organizer, manager and communicator with exceptional skills in networking and building relationships,” said Andrea Nelson, assistant vice president for county services in Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Nine hundred Iowans serve as elected county extension council members throughout the state. They represent their county and make decisions about bringing ISU Extension and Outreach education and experiences to their county and region that help people solve critical issues affecting their lives.
The Iowa Extension Council Association serves as a vehicle for networking between county extension councils, Iowa State University, and government leaders to promote and strengthen all local and statewide extension programs. Any county extension council in the state of Iowa is eligible for membership.
“I believe that ISU Extension and Outreach performs a vital role in our communities, and I’m grateful to elected councils that choose to prioritize dollars in support of extension programming,” Vit said.
Since 2006 Vit has been an event manager with ISU Conference Planning and Management. Previously she was a 4-H field specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. She also has experience as a county 4-H and youth agent with University of Wisconsin Extension, and as a graduate student teaching assistant with Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service.
Vit has a bachelor’s degree in public service and administration in agriculture from Iowa State, and a master’s degree in leadership development/agricultural education from Texas A&M.
“During my 18 years with ISU Extension and Outreach, I’ve had the pleasure of serving in a county office as well on the ISU campus in Ames. Both segments serve important functions, but each has distinct challenges and opportunities,” Vit said.
“As we continue through poor economic conditions in the agricultural community, the impacts on county budgets and the level of extension programming or staff a county can sustain may be significant. With the addition of COVID-19 to our society, I think that impact will be even more in the coming months and perhaps years. The university-community partnership will be more important than ever as both counties and campus strive to navigate the COVID-19 recovery,” Vit added.