'What Extension Can Be' is the driving theme behind a recent series of meetings held in Sac County. The Sac County Extension Council's goal is to strengthen the presence of Iowa State University education efforts and make them more relevant to future needs of Sac County communities.
In Iowa, locally elected Extension Councils govern the local Agricultural Extension districts, helping to address high priority community needs. ISU provides County Directors, Field Specialists, research, curriculum, technical and publication professionals.
The partnership agreement that Iowa Extension Districts have with Iowa State University Extension was recently revised to offer new incentives for counties to consider partnering with others, retaining more resources for local use. One such use may be to add more local staff.
The Sac County Council in conjunction with Northwest Area Director, Don Nitchie recently engaged in a future-planning process which involves exploring possible partnerships with neighbor-ing counties, studying changing demographic trends in the county, and surveying community leaders regarding priority needs.
The Council will develop a strategic plan for the next five plus years. They hope to meet new needs without compromising current services in agriculture and natural resources, business and industry, communities, families and 4-H Youth Development.
Once community needs are determined, opportunities for partnering can be pursued. Efforts to reduce duplication may result. The strategic plan for programs will also assist in refining duties of new or existing employees and budget priorities.
Implementation of a resulting plan will likely occur in phases. The council hopes to complete their plans within the next few months.
Sac County Extension Council members include: Linda Schultz and David Witte (Lake View), Cathy Geake (Wall Lake), Kathy Myers (Sac City), Melvin Buse (Auburn), Steve Determan and Mike Griggs (Early), LaDon Siebrecht (Odebolt), and Michael Wattier (Nemaha).