Skip to main content

Extension, 4-H strengthen central Illinois community engagement with new county director

jamie boas

URBANA, Ill. – After years of working with Central Illinois youth changing lives for the better, Jamie Boas will assume a new leadership role as the new County Director for University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties.

Illinois Extension staff live and work in the communities they serve throughout the state to meet families, businesses, and communities where they are and provide local research-based solutions for local issues.

Boas first joined Illinois Extension in 2007, serving as a 4-H youth development educator for 12 years before becoming county director. Doug Harlan previously directed the three-county unit before recently transitioning to regional assistant director. Harlan says Boas’ years of experience will serve the community well.

“Jamie’s experience as a youth development educator in the unit and an already well-developed network of collaborating partners provides her with an unbelievable springboard for success,” Harlan says.

Boas has a long history with Illinois Extension and 4-H. She is from Champaign County, where she was a 10-year 4-H member of the Philo 4-H Friends Club.

“I grew up in 4-H, as did my dad who was a state tractor driving champion. With that history and my mom as a 4-H leader for over 40 years, 4-H and Extension shaped who I am today,” Boas said.

In her new role, she hopes to provide Extension staff with the resources and support they need to reach new youth and adult partners in central Illinois communities.

“I am looking forward to empowering staff so they can continue making an impact and improving lives,” Boas says. “I want to expand programming and outreach so that everyone is able to take advantage of everything Extension has to offer.”

Boas graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies and from St. Louis University with a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in behavioral science and health education.

Her husband, Tom, and two daughters, Aubrey and Mackenzie, enjoy living in the country with their chickens, goats, dogs, and cats. Her hobbies include vegetable gardening, traveling, and playing board and card games with family.

Boas is based in the Piatt County Extension office in Monticello and can be reached at or (217) 762-2191.

Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, families, and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.