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ISU Extension and Outreach: Empowering Communities

Empowering Communities: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

In the realm of community services, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach stands as a valuable resource. However, there’s a common issue – many folks aren’t fully aware of the extensive benefits it brings. It’s akin to having a treasure trove of opportunities that often goes unnoticed. This introduction sets the stage for exploring the diverse services provided by the extension, recognizing the challenge of underestimating its significant impact on individual lives and community development. Let’s delve into the wealth of offerings that might have flown under the radar until now.
At the core of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is the commitment to bring cutting-edge research and information to the doorstep of communities. Recently, our office had the privilege of hosting Sarah DeBour, Country Director, along with Jeanene Blickenderfer and Mercedes Latham from the extension service. They provided invaluable insights into the various programs that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers.

During the presentation, the team highlighted key initiatives, including free tax preparation services. This service not only alleviates the financial burden on individuals and families but also ensures that community members receive the maximum benefits they are entitled to. The commitment to making tax assistance accessible reflects the extension service’s dedication to supporting the financial well-being of the community. Appointments can be scheduled in Mason City, Osage, Charles City, Spencer and Algona. Please see the flyer attached below and call to see if you qualify!

Another important aspect discussed was the Family Services Directory, a comprehensive resource that connects residents with essential services. Whether it’s healthcare, education, or social services, the directory serves as a roadmap for individuals navigating the complex landscape of available resources. This effort shows how the extension service is taking a complete approach to developing communities.

The presenters shed light on how these programs and others impact lives in Cerro Gordo County. Through free tax preparation, individuals experience a direct improvement in their financial stability. The Family Services Directory serves as a lifeline, ensuring that families can access the support they need, ultimately enhancing the overall well-being of the community. Many other programs include partnering with schools to provide education such as Pick a Better Snack, Kids in the Kitchen, Read Across America, Buy. Eat. Live Healthy and workforce training in ServSafe along with 4-H, the North Iowa Fair, and many agricultural projects.

For Iowa’s communities, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is an important component, bringing together knowledge, education, and community development. The recent presentation to our office by Sarah DeBour, Jeanene Blickenderfer, and Mercedes Latham underscores the extension service’s commitment to empowering individuals and enhancing community life. To learn more about what they do, check out their website:

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