Buerster joins leadership as county director

Tara Buerster, University of Illinois Extension county director for<br /> Edwards, Lawrence, RIchland, Wabash and Wayne Counties

URBANA, Ill. –  Edwards County native Tara Buerster joined University of Illinois Extension in April as county director serving Edwards, Lawrence, Richland,
Wabash, and Wayne counties
. She brings a rich history of building relationships in an academic environment.

“County directors wear many hats,“ says Antonio Franklin, associate director of field operations for Illinois Extension. “We count on them to have their finger
on the pulse of the community.”

County directors are responsible for local program management, personnel management, interpersonal effectiveness, organizational leadership and development, fiscal management, and facilities management, Franklin says.

Buerster comes to Illinois Extension from Illinois Eastern Community College (IECC) where she served as director of human resources for the multi-district college. Buerster looks forward to increasing awareness of Extension programs within her communities.

“We have a strong and well-supported 4-H program in all five counties,” Buerster says. “My goal is to maintain that momentum while helping the community lean into all programs Extension has to offer.”

Buerster graduated from University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in science, after attending Wabash Valley College, one of four colleges within
the IECC system. Beginning her professional life at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind., she returned to IECC in 2000 as a student recruiter and culminated
her 20-year career as director of human resources.

She serves as a regional peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting entity for universities and community colleges. As co-chair of IECC’s accreditation process, Buerster’s assurance argument was instrumental in securing the college’s continued accreditation.

Buerster earned her master’s in education in human resource development from University of Illinois in 2012. She will base her operations at the Edwards County Extension office in Albion. Buerster looks forward to bringing more of Extension’s research-based outreach to her community and doing what she does best, build relationships and create connections.

She and husband, Jayare, are parents to daughters Haley and Jacey, both members of Illinois 4-H and involved in showing livestock; and daughter Sydney, pediatric ICU nurse in Kalamazoo, Mich.

About University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering educational programs to residents of all of Illinois' 102 counties, and far beyond. Extension provides practical education you can trust to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future.

WRITER: Liz Smith, Media Communications Coordinator