Altoona, IA (April 7, 2023) – Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach Week is April 17-22, 2023. This weeklong observance allows Polk County Extension to celebrate and thank the community partners, leaders and volunteers that support the work of ISU Extension and Outreach. Additionally, Polk County Extension will highlight successes from the past year, share current research-based resources, and feature the key role Extension has in building a strong Iowa.
“ISU Extension and Outreach Week is a great opportunity to share our story, show appreciation for the people who participate in our programs, and celebrate the volunteers and community partners that support our work and mission,” said Paul Gibbins, regional director for ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County. “It’s also an opportunity to share our local impact and depth and breadth of information, programs, and education we offer.”
In 2022, Polk County Extension:
• Engaged over 21,000 participants
• Conducted 200 program events
• Replied upon almost 450 volunteers
• Logged over 12,000 volunteer hours with the majority stemming from Polk County’s signature volunteer service organization and horticulture program, the Polk County Master Gardeners
“These numbers only tell a part of our story. Over the last year, we intentionally elevated programs that helped residents address mental health,” Gibbins said. “We also created new initiatives like launching three Polk County 4-H day camps, established the Polk County 4-H endowment committee, and reimagined the Polk County Master Gardener volunteer program. I am proud to share these stories during Extension Week and look forward to building on last year’s success.”
For over one hundred years Polk County Extension has provided locally relevant evidence-based information and programs for people of all ages to engage them in a variety of learning experiences. These educational experiences fall under four program areas including 4-H and youth development; health and wellbeing; agriculture and natural resources; and community and economic development.
ISU Extension and Outreach is part of the federal Cooperative Extension Service — a network of more than one hundred land-grant institutions, including Iowa State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture serving communities and counties across the United States. Every county in Iowa has an elected extension council that decides how to support ISU Extension and Outreach educational programs at the county level.
The current Polk Extension Council members are Kasey Peters, Extension Council Chair; Dennis Goering, Vice-Chair; Emma Runde, Secretary; Rich Degner, Treasurer; Deb Brewer-Cotlar, Joe Gonzalez, Julie McGonegle, Denise Veldhuizen, and Bart Weldon.
About Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County
For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County has served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the ISU Extension Polk County office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance, and meet the needs of Polk County residents and community. For 2023 ISU Extension in Polk County will focus on local issues including: K-12 youth outreach; family and food; and agriculture and the environment. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County is a part of a 99-county campus backed by research to serve all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.