I have not written a column for a couple of weeks and there is a very good reason for that. I recently accepted the Region 9 (Grundy, Butler, Bremer, Buchanan, Tama and Black Hawk counties) Regional Extension Education Director (REED) position with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Al Ricks had served in this capacity until his retirement last spring. With the change in position also comes a change in my responsibilities and I will not be able to continue to write my weekly column as I have in the past.
In my new role, I will be working closely with the county extension councils in Region 9 in preparing budgets, working through the election process for council members and helping with program planning for the counties and the region. I am very excited about my new role and am looking forward to working with the extension councils and citizens of Region 9.
At the same time, I am finding that I am experiencing sadness as I transition into my new position realizing that I will not be able to have the same level of contact with many of you that I have enjoyed in the past. I have gotten to know and work with many of you over the past few years and am finding it hard to say 'goodbye.' Without a doubt, I will miss the direct contact I had with many of you that I have had the good fortune to work with on committees, boards, one-on-one and through educational programs and other Extension and Outreach events over the past few years. Although I will miss working with you, as we have in the past, I am looking forward to all the new people that I will get to meet and work with in the future. Besides, I am not going 'away,' I am just changing the focus of my time and energy.
To those of you who have been faithful readers of my column, I appreciate you for taking the time to read what I wrote. I have appreciated the positive comments that I received from many of you and hope that you found the information useful. I also want to thank the newspapers who regularly provided space to print this column. Without your support, this educational opportunity would not have been possible. Thank you for how you have supported ISU Extension and Outreach over the years and I look forward to your continued support.
So, while I am changing jobs, I am not going away. I will still be serving Butler and Grundy counties but in a new capacity. My office will be located within the Black Hawk County Extension office but I will travel to each of the counties that I serve. Please feel free to contact me by phone: 319-234-6811 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.