Woodson County Extension Council and Woodson County Commissioners have recently voted to join the Southwind Extension District. Woodson County and the Southwind Extension District will be working over the next several weeks to complete requirements for Woodson County to become a part of the district. This merger, effective July 1, 2018, will provide expertise of additional specialized agents in Woodson County. At the same time, personnel in Woodson County will have access to more resources and support as they work together with Southwind District faculty and staff on programs and activities. Extension programming improves the lives of people by providing educational programs related to agriculture, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth programs and community development backed by the power of applied research from Kansas State University.
“On behalf of the Southwind District Board of Directors, I would like to welcome Woodson County to the District. We are proud to be able to help expand the availability of K-State Research & Extension programming to our neighbors. As well, the addition of new ideas and fresh viewpoints can only improve extension services for the entire district. This is an exciting time for extension in Southeast Kansas!” says Kathy Brazle, Chairman, Southwind District Board of Directors.
In 1991, the Kansas Legislature passed an act permitting two or more County Extension Councils to join and form an extension district. The Extension District Law was designed for efficient and effective programming. In 2010, the Extension Councils Executive Boards and the County Commissioners in Neosho and Allen Counties passed county resolutions to form Southwind Extension District. Bourbon County was added in 2011, and Woodson County will now sign an agreement with the Southwind Extension Board. By joining the Southwind District, Woodson County residents will now have access to 8 agents from all four counties of the expanded district, who offer programming in the areas of Community Development, Forage and Livestock Production, Crop Production, Horticulture, 4-H Youth Development, Financial Management, Adult Development and Aging, and Nutrition, Health, and Food Safety.
“Woodson County residents need a sustainable extension program that improves the lives of our citizens,” according to Jay Weseloh, Woodson County Extension Board Chair. “Joining the Southwind District allows us to expand our programming and reach more people without creating a significant financial burden on our taxpayers.”
Southwind Extension District relies on strong local governance. Extension programs are fiscally-responsible entities that are managed by ordinary citizens who care about making their counties a better place to live. Each county in the extension district is represented by four district governing board members. After initial appointment by their county commissioners in Woodson County, district board members will be elected during fall elections of the alternating odd-numbered years for a four-year term.
“Board members, faculty, and staff are excited about the opportunities of merging together to create a stronger extension district that will be better poised to meet the needs of residents,” concludes Carla Nemecek, Director of Southwind District. “We look forward to working in Woodson County.”