Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has offices in every Iowa county, and this week the state has observed Extension Week to underline the importance of that presence.
Dallas County Extension’s Family Life Specialist Rosa Gonzalez says ISU Extension and Outreach has been operating for more than a century, and their focus has always been to bring the ISU campus to the individual counties through educational programs. Gonzalez is one of more than 1,000 Extension staff members around the state, and they serve more than 17,000 4-H students. In Dallas County alone, there are over 500 students in 4-H and Clover Kids.
Gonzalez says some of the things they teach in 4-H include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, healthy living, citizenship, leadership, communications, and the arts. She adds, Extension’s programming isn’t just limited to kids, as last year they held more than 100,000 events across the state geared towards educating adults.
One thing Gonzalez emphasizes is Extension is always in need of community involvement. She explains, “The only way that we can grow is by incorporating our volunteering into our programming. The summer is a great opportunity for helping. The kids are doing a lot of activities. Certainly we can take as many volunteers as we can for getting ready for the fair, and keep all those kids out of trouble.” Gonzalez encourages anyone interested in helping with the Extension programs to contact the Dallas County office.