Iowa State University’s new vice-provost for Extension and Outreach is touring the state. Jack Payne says when he worked at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, he looked at Iowa State as the leading extension service in the country, never knowing he’d wind up working here.
Payne just started his job at Iowa State in January and says so far he’s had a lot of good comments on the program, created to extend the knowledge of the university out into the community. He calls I-S-U the best land-grant university with the best extension service, and says people really appreciate it.
“People seem to really like extension in Iowa,” he chuckles. He’s hearing about the relevance it brings to their communities and about the importance of 4-H and says a lot of people tell him about that program’s leadership skills for youth. He says they tell him not to do anything to diminish 4-H.
But Payne says people have also told him Extension’s a lot more than 4-H. Payne says 41-percent of Iowa’s population is now urban. While Extension’s traditionally rural, the service needs to grow programs to serve Iowans who now live in the city. He says a lot of that is gardening information for the city residents. Payne (who was in Webster City last (Wednesday) night,) is traveling around the state to find out how I-S-U Extension can better serve the needs of Iowans.