Extension Council offers opportunities to serve
The Jefferson County Extension Council soon will begin the process to fill five seats on the nine-member council.
The elected council is the grass roots governing body for the Cooperative Extension System. As part of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Jefferson County council works in partnership with local citizens, ISU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to carry the land-grant mission beyond the campus in Ames.
Candidates for the council will appear on the general election ballot in November.
“The elected council is instrumental in fulfilling the land-grant mission and bringing research-based educational opportunities to the county,” said Sue Henderson, regional director. “We invite those interested in Jefferson County’s extension and outreach programs to be involved in the nomination process or consider running for council.”
The duties of a council member include hiring county staff, managing the county extension budget and helping select programming.
Iowa has 100 ISU Extension and Outreach field offices providing local access to extension programs in all 99 counties.
“We are part of the ongoing life of Iowa’s communities and are positioned to anticipate trends, build relationships and catalyze opportunities,” said Henderson.
The nomination process begins with the appointment of a four-member nominating committee. By law, the current council appoints two men and two women to the committee and it cannot include any current members of the council. The committee must be appointed by Aug. 6.
The committee is charged with nominating candidates for the council, and geographic distribution of the nominees is one factor to consider. After nominees have been selected, each nominee must turn in a petition signed by at least 25 qualified voters by 5 p.m. Aug. 27 to Jefferson County elections commissioner Scott Reneker.
Individuals also may be placed on the ballot through a self-nomination process by turning in a petition signed by 25 qualified voters. Petitions are available from the county auditor and at the county extension office.
The council has five vacancies for four-year terms this year. All council members are eligible for re-election.
Council members whose terms expire at the end of 2014 are Sharon Leazer of Batavia, Sheri Stone and Pete Tollenaere, both of Fairfield, and Deb Swan and Scott Whitham, both of Libertyville.
Newly-elected council members will take office in January.
Carry-over council members whose terms expire at the end of 2016 are Kurt Ledger of Brighton, Wayne Mitchell of Packwood, Marvin Larson of Fairfield and Jeanette Lacey of Pleasant Plain.
Contact Henderson at 641-777-4354 for more information on becoming a council member.