‘Extending Knowledge, Changing Lives.’ That’s what the staff at the University of Illinois Extension offices in Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties focuses on. Whether you’re a family or an individual, a business or an organization, a youth or a senior, you can trust Illinois Extension to provide unbiased, research-based solutions to the challenges you face in your life and your community. Extension concentrates on energy and environmental stewardship; food safety and security; economic development and workforce preparedness; family health, financial security and wellness; and youth development.
“Recently, members of our Extension staff have been recognized at the state and national level for their involvement in providing relevant educational programming and their commitment to their work,” states Margaret Larson, county extension director serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. “We are thankful for their dedication to helping our local communities and more.”
University of Illinois Extension Team Excellence Award,
National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) First Place Nationally, and
First Place Central Region - Marketing Package Award
Diane Reinhold, nutrition and wellness educator, along with Extension Nutrition and Wellness team members across the state, were recognized nationally and statewide in November for their recent work on creating The Fill Your Pantry: Home Food Preservation webinar series and 31 Days of Food Preservation social media campaign.
The University of Illinois Extension Team Excellence Award was given to the Extension Nutrition and Wellness Team for addressing critical focus areas around food access and safety during uncertain times. The team incorporated new strategies to engage consumers with Extension programming and safe home food preservation information.
The NEAFCS Marketing Package Award recognizes members of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences for their outstanding marketing efforts addressing the concerns and needs of children, families or communities. It is presented for the development of an outstanding marketing package, promoting a class, program, or pertinent Family and Consumer Sciences issues.
"Our team did an amazing job putting together this series,” says Diane. “The resources provided practical, researched-based information related to home food preservation.”
“At a time of uncertainty for so many, Diane and her team recognized the need for updated information on home food preservation. They created a way to share their knowledge along with scientifically proven safe recipes during the pandemic’s influx of new backyard gardeners” comments Margaret. “Diane’s collaboration with the Extension Nutrition and Wellness Team to create timely educational programming is the very reason for the existence of Extension. She is a great asset to our Extension team.”
U of I Extension Program Evaluation Excellence Award
Grant McCarty, local food systems and small farms educator, was recognized for his role on the International Committee during the University of Illinois Extension annual conference. Grant, along with his colleagues, received the 2021 Program Evaluation Excellence award. The committee worked to revitalize a survey known as The International Experience Survey. This multiyear project helped identify international opportunities for educators and staff as well as addressed current Extension needs and resources locally. The survey helped identify the needs for English as second language providers, and interpretation/translation skills within Extension.
“This survey helped us to see opportunities and challenges both at the local level and statewide in Extension,” notes Grant. “We were able to form a greater connection between the needs of individual communities and the research and information that came from the survey.”
“Grant’s involvement in the International Committee for the past several years has helped to guide our own local programming,” explains Margaret. “His active role keeps us at the forefront of delivering timely and relevant educational programming that fits our communities’ needs and desires.”
U of I Extension Recognition of Years of Service
Four staff members were recognized for their years of service with Extension. Acknowledged for five years of service were: Angela Miller, Jo Daviess County 4-H program coordinator; Gina Adams, Rockford SNAP-Ed program coordinator; and Tammy Bené, Winnebago County office support associate. Julie Miller, Stephenson County office support assistant, has been with extension for ten years. “We are fortunate to have dedicated staff that want to help make a difference in our local communities,” says Margaret. “Angela, Gina, Tammy and Julie are great examples of our Extension team. Their willingness to help others and advocate for education are the very reasons Extension is successful.”
For more information about University of Illinois Extension in Jo Daviess, Stephenson or Winnebago counties, visit our website, go.illinois.edu/jsw, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Jo Daviess County – 815-858-2273; Stephenson County – 815-235-4125 or Winnebago County – 815-986-4357. 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. Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in program and employment. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact the program coordinator. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.