Monday Update: Stakeholder reports and other news

January 4, 2021

If you’d like to feel good as you start the new year, then go to the 2020 County Stakeholder Reports webpage, pick a report (or several) and prepare to be amazed. You’ll learn how our extension professionals and councils did their best to respond to local needs before and during the pandemic. You’ll also learn how they’re planning for recovery in 2021. The stakeholder reports are filled with examples of how ISU Extension and Outreach has been building a #StrongIowa.

Now that the 2020 stakeholder reports are wrapping up, did you know? You don’t have to wait to begin your 2021 report. Advancement has prepared a new DYK? Stakeholder Reports video with tips on how to get started by shifting your thinking. Rather than being a year-end summary, your county stakeholder report is your county’s ongoing, year-round story – which begins at the start of a new year. And remember, you can share extension stories all year long. Please continue to use #StrongIowa on social media as you share stories about Iowa’s recovery.

Nominate “friends of extension”

The awards committee of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Alpha Mu Chapter, is seeking nominations for ISU Extension and Outreach’s “Friend of Extension.” Think of people and organizations that impact all of ISU Extension and Outreach, not just one program area. You may submit nominations in four categories: elected official, extension volunteer/lay leader, professional/business leader, and business/organization. Nominations that weren’t selected for state recognition in previous years may be resubmitted.

The online nomination form is due by midnight (12 a.m.), Monday, February 1. Please go to the National ESP website and select “To submit an application.” As you complete the online form, be sure to select “Iowa - Alpha Mu (North Central)” in the drop-down menu of chapters. You do not need a director letter when submitting your nomination; that is only for the one nominee selected as the state winner. Please send an e-mail to Vera Stokes,, after your nomination is submitted. If you have questions, please contact Vera for assistance.

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

ISU Extension and Outreach has an ongoing commitment to be an inclusive and welcoming organization. Previously, Ross Wilburn had a split appointment of 45% diversity and inclusion adviser for ISU Extension and Outreach and 55% manager, extension education for Community and Economic Development. I have moved him to full time diversity and inclusion adviser and CED will advertise to replace their manager position.  

We also are continuing our partnership with the Office of Equal Opportunity for someone to assist Ross. Sean Nelson, who held that position, has resigned and we will refill this position this spring. While Ross is serving as an elected member of the Iowa House of Representatives, we have partnered with the OEO to hired an interim diversity and inclusion specialist, Regenea Hurte, to support ISU Extension and Outreach. If you have questions about Civil Rights or diversity, equity, and inclusion, please work through your supervisor to connect with Regenea.

Mileage rate changes for travel

The IRS recently issued changes to allowable standard mileage rates based on their annual study of fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. As a result, Iowa State’s mileage rates (which are tied to IRS issued rates) will be adjusted for travel taking place on or after January 1, 2021.

  • The default mileage rate will decrease from 0.2875 cents per mile to 0.28 cents per mile.
  • The higher mileage rate will decrease from 0.575 cents per mile to 0.56 cents per mile. ISU travelers qualify for the higher mileage rate if the round-trip is less than 100 miles, the traveler is permanently based off-campus, the traveler is unable to reserve a vehicle from Transportation Services, the traveler is not an ISU employee or student, or the trip is to or from a designated airport (Omaha, Kansas City, or Minneapolis) 100 or more miles away from Ames for the purpose of obtaining a lower cost flight.

More notes

  • Earlier today I sent an email message with the Two-Way Scorecard Communication Tool second quarter survey link to council members and all staff within our 27 regions. Any council members who are unable to complete the survey electronically should contact their regional director to receive a hard copy to complete and return to Andrea Nelson at 2280 Beardshear, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, IA 50011. All mailed surveys must be received by Monday, January 18.
  • Wednesday, January 6 is Office Cleanup Day, the annual day extension staff statewide devote to cleaning and organizing. Helpful resources are available in MyExtension.
  • The next Second Monday Live is 10 a.m., January 11, at Suzanne Bartholomae will discuss financial education that Human Sciences provides for Iowans.
  • Join Megan Bagley, brand manager, for DYK? Trademark Best Practices and Processes, 10 a.m., Tuesday, January 12, on Zoom: She’ll discuss essential vendor and product information, review the new Trademark Quick Guide, and take a virtual walk through the Trademark Request Form. There also will be time for Q & A.
  • Remember to apply for 2021 ISU Extension and Outreach awards. The deadline is February 10.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach